The Book of Kings—Book First
1 And when King David was an old man, far gone in years, they covered him with clothes, and he was not warm. 2 And his officers said to him “Let them look up a maiden girl for your majesty, and let her stand before your majesty to be a caretaker to him, and sleep in your arms that your majesty may be warm.” 3 And they looked for the most beautiful girl in all the territory of Israel, and found it to be Abishag the Shunammite, and brought her to the king. 4 And the girl, who was very beautiful, became caretaker to the king and waited on him, but the king did not know her.
5 And Adonijah the son of Haggith was ambitious and proposed to be king, and set up a carriage with outriders, and fifty men running before him. 6* (And his father had never since he was born crossed him by saying “How came you to do such a thing?” And he too was very fine-looking; and he was born after Absalom.) 7 And he had dealings with Joab the son of Serujah and with Priest Abiathar, and they backed Adonijah’s party; 8 but Priest Sadok, and Benajah the son of Jehojadaʽ, and Nathan the prophet, and Shimei and Reʽi, and David’s champions, were not with Adonijah.
9** And Adonijah sacrificed sheep and cattle and a stall-fed calf by the Zoheleth stone alongside ʽEn-Rogel, and invited all his brothers and all the men of Judah, the king’s officers; 10 but Nathan the prophet, and Benajah and the champions, and his brother Solomon, he did not invite.
11 And Nathan said to Bath-Shebaʽ, Solomon’s mother, “You have heard, have you not, that Haggith’s son Adonijah is set up as king, without the knowledge of his majesty King David? 12 Come now, take my advice and save your life and your son Solomon’s life. 13* Go to the king’s room, and go in and say to him ‘Your majesty, did you not swear to your servant “Your son Solomon shall reign after me: he shall sit on my throne”? and how comes it that Adonijah has become king?’ 14 And while you are right there talking with the king I will come in after you and corroborate your words.” 15 And Bath-Shebaʽ went to the king in his room: the king had grown very old, and Abishag the Shunammite was waiting on the king; 16 and Bath-Shebaʽ bowed down and did reverence to the king, and the king said “What is the matter?” 17 And she said to him “Your majesty, you swore by your God Jehovah to your servant ‘Your son Solomon shall reign after me: he shall sit on my throne’; 18 and now here is Adonijah set up as king without your knowledge, your majesty, 19 and he has sacrificed a bull and a stall-fed calf and sheep in great numbers, and has invited all the princes and Priest Abiathar and General Joab, but not your servant Solomon— 20 while it is on you, your majesty, that the eyes of all Israel are fixed to tell them who shall sit on your majesty’s throne after you. 21 And when your majesty goes to rest with your fathers I and my son Solomon will be criminals.”
22 And while she was still talking with the king, Nathan the prophet came. 23 And they told the king “Here is Nathan the prophet”; and he came in before the king and prostrated himself on the ground in reverence to the king. 24 And Nathan said “Your majesty, have you said ʽAdonijah shall reign after me: he shall sit on my throne’? 25 because he has gone down today and sacrificed a bull and a stall-fed calf and sheep in great numbers, and has invited all the princes and the generals and Priest Abiathar, and they are eating and drinking before him and have been saying ‘Long live King Adonijah!’ 26 But me your servant, and Priest Sadok, and Benajah the son of Jehojadaʽ, and your servant Solomon, he did not invite. 27* Is this thing of your majesty’s doing, and have you not let your servants know who was to sit on your majesty’s throne after you?”
28 And King David answered “Call in Bath-Shebaʽ.” And she came in before the king and stood before the king. 29 And the king swore “By Jehovah, who has redeemed my soul out of every distress, 30 as I swore to you by Jehovah the God of Israel ‘Your son Solomon shall reign after me: he shall succeed me on my throne,’ so I will do this day.” 31 And Bath-Shebaʽ bowed her face to the ground and did reverence to the king, and said “May your majesty live forever.”
32* And King David said “Call in Priest Sadok and Nathan the prophet and Benajah the son of Jehojadaʽ.” And they came in before the king. 33 And the king said to them “Take with you the palace troops, and mount my son Solomon on my own mule, and take him down to Gihon; 34 and there let Priest Sadok and Nathan the prophet anoint him king over Israel. And blow the ram-horn, and say “Long live King Solomon!” 35 and come up behind him, and let him go in and take his seat on my throne; and he shall succeed me, he is the one I have appointed to be warden over Israel and over Judah.” 36* And Benajah the son of Jehojadaʽ answered the king “Amen; so may your majesty’s God Jehovah say! 37 As Jehovah has been with your majesty, so may he be with Solomon, and make his throne greater than your majesty’s!” 38 And Priest Sadok and Nathan the prophet and Benajah the son of Jehojadaʽ, and the Cretans and the Pletans, went down and mounted Solomon on King David’s mule and took him to Gihon; 39 and Priest Sadok took the horn of oil from the Tent and anointed Solomon, and they blew the ram-horn, and all the people said “Long live King Solomon!” 40 And all the people came up behind him, playing on flutes and making a great rejoicing, and the earth was splitting with their noise.
41 And Adonijah and all the guests he had with him had finished eating and heard it; and Joab heard the sound of the ram-horn and said “How comes the sound of the town in an uproar?” 42 He was still speaking when Jonathan the son of Priest Abiathar came; and Adonijah said “Come on, you are a gentleman and bring good news.” 43 And Jonathan answered Adonijah “Well, his majesty King David has made Solomon king; 44 and the king sent with him Priest Sadok and Nathan the prophet and Benajah the son of Jehojadaʽ, and the Cretans and the Pletans, and they mounted him on the king’s mule, 45 and Priest Sadok and Nathan the prophet anointed him king at Gihon, and they went up from there rejoicing, and the town was in an uproar; that was the sound you heard. 46 And Solomon has taken his seat on the royal throne. 47 And the king’s officers have gone in to take their leave of his majesty King David, saying ‘May your God make Solomon’s throne better than yours, and his throne greater than yours’; and the king did reverence on his couch. 48 And the king spoke thus: ‘Blessed be Jehovah the God of Israel, who has today given one to sit on my throne, with my eyes seeing it.’”
49 And all those guests of Adonijah’s were frightened, and rose to their feet, and went off in different directions; 50 and Adonijah was afraid of Solomon, and he went and took hold of the horns of the altar. 51 And Solomon was told “Adonijah is afraid of King Solomon; and he has laid hold of the horns of the altar, and says ‘Let King Solomon swear to me first not to kill his servant with the sword.’” 52 And Solomon said “If he will be an honest man not a hair of him shall fall to the ground; but if mischief is found in him he shall die.” 53 And King Solomon sent and had him brought down from the altar; and he went in and did reverence to King Solomon, and Solomon said to him “Go to your home.”