Tuesday, April 18, 2006

Solomon Is Crowned King

1st Kings 2:1-11

When Absalom died the people were anxious to bring the king home again, they were so eager, that they quarreled among themselves because the men of Judah, David's own tribe, were the first to bring him on his way to Jerusalem.

The quarrel ended and the men of Israel again revolted from the king. Joab who was a skillful soldier, though he was a very bad man, succeeded in putting down the insurrection.

David's troubles were not over yet. First famine and then bad diseases in which seventy thousand of the people died, came upon his kingdom.

When David was old and feeble, near death, his son Adonijah set himself up to be king after his father instead of Solomon, whom God had appointed to succeed David.

Adonijah had taken upon himself royal status. Joab and other officers of the kingdom were with him, and the people acknowledged him as king. News of this was brought to David, who at once decided to prevent disputes about the succession after his death by having Solomon crowned during his own lifetime.

He called Nathan the priest, Zadok the prophet, and Benaiah the captain of his guard, and told them, with a number of his officers to take Solomon, and, place him upon the king's mule (which it was death for any subject to ride), bring him down to Gihon, a fountain near Jerusalem, and there, with sound of trumpet, anoint, and proclaim him king over Israel.

They took him there and proclaimed him king the people followed and shouted "God save King Solomon!" till the city rang again.

Adonijah and his friends were at this time rejoicing together and while they were feasting, one of his soldiers came and told them that David had made Solomon king of Israel.

When they heard this, they were so frightened that each one ran away as quietly as he could. Adonijah, fearing that his life might be in danger for attempting to seize the kingdom, fled to the altar for protection. Anyone who laid hold of the horns of the altar was considered under God's protection, and therefore safe from his enemies.

Solomon sent for him, promising him safety if he submitted to him. Adonijah went and did homage to his brother, who let him go home peaceably. Soon after this David died, and was buried at Jerusalem.

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