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1 Reis 1

(Writer: Jeremiah) (580 B.C.E.)

1 Now King David was old and advanced in years. They put covers over him but he could not get warm.

2 His servants said to him: »Your Majesty let us find a young woman to stay with you and take care of you. She will lie close to you and keep you warm.«

3 They searched all over Israel for a beautiful young woman, and in Shunem they found such a woman named Abishag, and brought her to the king.

4 She was very beautiful. She waited on the king and took care of him. However, he did not have intercourse with her.

5 Adonijah, son of Haggith, was very handsome. His mother gave birth to him after Maacah had Absalom. Adonijah boasted about himself, saying, »I will be king.« He got a chariot and horses and fifty men to run ahead of him.

6 His father never confronted him by asking: »Why have you done this?«

7 But Adonijah had discussed his actions with Joab son of Zeruiah and with the priest Abiathar, so they supported him.

8 But the priest Zadok, Benaiah son of Jehoiada, the prophet Nathan, Shimei, Rei, and David's thirty special guards did not join Adonijah.

9 Adonijah sacrificed sheep, cattle, and fattened calves at Zoheleth Rock near En Rogel. He invited all his brothers, the king's other sons, all the men of Judah, and the king's officials.

10 But he did not invite the prophet Nathan, Benaiah, the special guard or his brother Solomon.

11 Then Nathan asked Solomon's mother Bathsheba: »Have you heard that Adonijah, Haggith's son, has become king, and our master David does not even know about it?

12 »Bathsheba, let me give you some advice about how to save your life and your son's life.

13 »‘Go now to King David and ask him: ‘Your Majesty, did you solemnly promise me that my son Solomon would succeed you as king? How is it that Adonijah has become king?’

14 Nathan added: »While you are still talking with King David, I will come in and confirm your story.«

15 So Bathsheba went to see the king in his bedroom. He was very old, and Abishag, the young woman from Shunem, was taking care of him.

16 Bathsheba bowed low before the king. He asked: »What do you want?«

17 She answered: »Your Majesty, you made me a solemn promise in the name of Jehovah your God that my son Solomon would be king after you.

18 »Adonijah has already become king. You do not know anything about it.

19 »He has offered a sacrifice of many bulls, sheep, and fattened calves. He invited your sons, and Abiathar the priest, and Joab the commander of your army to the feast. However he did not invite your son Solomon.

20 »Your Majesty. The people of Israel want you to tell them who is to succeed you as king.

21 »If you do not my son Solomon and I will be treated as traitors when you die.«

22 Nathan arrived at the palace while she spoke.

23 The king was told that the prophet was there. Nathan went in and bowed low before the king.

24 Nathan said: »Your Majesty. Did you announce that Adonijah would succeed you as king?

25 »This very day he has gone and offered a sacrifice of many bulls, sheep, and fattened calves. He invited all your sons, Joab the commander of your army, and Abiathar the priest, and right now they are feasting with him and shouting: ‘Long live King Adonijah!’

26 »But he did not invite Zadok the priest or Benaiah or Solomon or me.

27 »Did Your Majesty approve all this and not even tell your officials who is to succeed you as king?«

28 King David said: »Ask Bathsheba to come back in.« She came and stood before him.

29 Then he said to her: »I promise you by the living God Jehovah, who has rescued me from all my troubles,

30 that today I will keep the promise I made to you in the name of Jehovah the God of Israel, that your son Solomon would succeed me as king.«

31 Bathsheba bowed low and said: »May my lord the king live a very long time!«

32 Then King David sent for Zadok, Nathan, and Benaiah. When they came in,

33 he said to them: »Take my court officials with you; have my son Solomon ride my own mule, and escort him to Gihon Spring,

34 Zadok and Nathan are to anoint him as king of Israel. Then blow the trumpet and shout: Long live King Solomon!

35 »Follow him back here when he comes to sit on my throne. He will succeed me as king. He is the one I have chosen to be the ruler over Israel and Judah.«

36 »It will be done,« answered Benaiah, »and may Jehovah your God confirm it!

37 »Jehovah has been with Your Majesty. May he also be with Solomon and make his reign even more prosperous than yours.«

38 So Zadok, Nathan, Benaiah, and the royal bodyguards put Solomon on King David's mule and escorted him to Gihon Spring.

39 Zadok took the container of olive oil that he had brought from the Tent of Jehovah’s presence, and anointed Solomon. They blew the trumpet, and all the people shouted: »Long live King Solomon!«

40 All the people followed him. They blew flutes and celebrated so loudly that their voices shook the ground.

41 Adonijah and all his guests heard this while they were eating. When Joab heard the sound of the horn, he asked: »Why all this noise in the city?«

42 He was still speaking when Jonathan, son of the priest Abiathar, arrived. »Come in,« Adonijah said: »You are an honorable man. You must be bringing good news.«

43 »Not at all,« Jonathan answered Adonijah. »His Majesty King David has made Solomon king!«

44 »The king sent the priest Zadok, the prophet Nathan, Benaiah son of Jehoiada, the Cherethites, and the Pelethites with him. They placed him on the king's mule.

45 »The priest Zadok and the prophet Nathan anointed him king at Gihon. They came from there celebrating. The city is excited. That is the sound you heard.

46 »Solomon is seated on the royal throne.

47 »Even the royal officials have come to congratulate His Majesty King David, saying: May your God make Solomon's name more famous than yours and his reign greater than your reign. The king himself bowed down on his bed

48 and prayed: ‘Let us praise Jehovah the God of Israel. Today he made one of my descendants succeed me as king.’ He let me live to see it!«

49 Adonijah's guests were afraid. So they all left.

50 Adonijah, in great fear of Solomon, went to the Tent of Jehovah’s presence and grabbed hold of the corners of the altar.

51 King Solomon was told that Adonijah was afraid of him and that he was holding on to the corners of the altar. He heard that he said: »First, I want King Solomon to swear to me that he will not have me put to death.«

52 Solomon replied: »If he is loyal, not even a hair on his head will be touched. If he is not, he will die.«

53 King Solomon then sent for Adonijah and had him brought down from the altar. Adonijah went to the king and bowed low before him. The king said to him: »You may go home.«

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