1 Kings 1

The Last Words of David

23 Now these are the last words of David:

The oracle of David, the son of Jesse,

the oracle of lthe man who was raised on high,

jthe anointed of the God of Jacob,

the sweet psalmist of Israel:1

mThe Spirit of the Lord speaks by me;

his word is on my tongue.

The God of Israel has spoken;

nthe Rock of Israel has said to me:

When one rules justly over men,

ruling oin the fear of God,

he pdawns on them like the morning light,

like the sun shining forth on a cloudless morning,

like rain2 that makes grass to sprout from the earth.

For does not my house stand so with God?

qFor he has made with me an everlasting covenant,

ordered in all things and secure.

For will he not cause to prosper

all my help and my desire?

But worthless men3 are all like thorns that are thrown away,

for they cannot be taken with the hand;

but the man who touches them

arms himself with iron and the shaft of a spear,

and they are utterly consumed with fire.4

David's Mighty Men

rThese are the names of the mighty men whom David had: sJosheb-basshebeth a Tahchemonite; he was chief of the three.5 He wielded his spear6 against eight hundred whom he killed at one time.

And next to him among the three mighty men was Eleazar the son of tDodo, son of uAhohi. He was with David when they defied the Philistines who were gathered there for battle, and the men of Israel withdrew. 10 He rose and struck down the Philistines until his hand was weary, and his hand clung to the sword. And the Lord brought about a great victory that day, and the men returned after him only to strip the slain.

11 And next to him was Shammah, the son of Agee the vHararite. The Philistines gathered together at Lehi,7 where there was a plot of ground full of lentils, and the men fled from the Philistines. 12 But he took his stand in the midst of the plot and defended it and struck down the Philistines, and the Lord worked a great victory.

13 And three of the thirty chief men went down and came about harvest time to David at the wcave of Adullam, when a band of Philistines was encamped xin the Valley of Rephaim. 14 David was then yin the stronghold, and zthe garrison of the Philistines was then at Bethlehem. 15 And David said longingly, Oh, that someone would give me water to drink from the well of Bethlehem that is by the gate! 16 Then the three mighty men broke through the camp of the Philistines and drew water out of the well of Bethlehem that was by the gate and carried and brought it to David. But he would not drink of it. He poured it out to the Lord 17 and said, Far be it from me, O Lord, that I should do this. Shall I drink athe blood of the men who went at the risk of their lives? Therefore he would not drink it. These things the three mighty men did.

18 Now Abishai, the brother of Joab, the son of Zeruiah, was chief of the thirty.8 And he wielded his spear against three hundred men9 and killed them and won a name beside the three. 19 He was the most renowned of the thirty10 and became their commander, but he did not attain to bthe three.

20 And cBenaiah the son of Jehoiada was a valiant man11 of dKabzeel, a doer of great deeds. He struck down two ariels12 of Moab. He also went down and struck down a lion in a pit on a day when snow had fallen. 21 And he struck down an Egyptian, a handsome man. The Egyptian had a spear in his hand, but Benaiah went down to him with a staff and snatched the spear out of the Egyptian's hand and killed him with his own spear. 22 These things did Benaiah the son of Jehoiada, and won a name beside the three mighty men. 23 He was renowned among the thirty, but he did not attain to the three. And David set him over his bodyguard.

24 eAsahel the brother of Joab was one of the thirty; Elhanan the son of Dodo of Bethlehem, 25 fShammah of Harod, Elika of Harod, 26 Helez the Paltite, Ira the son of Ikkesh gof Tekoa, 27 Abiezer hof Anathoth, Mebunnai ithe Hushathite, 28 Zalmon jthe Ahohite, Maharai kof Netophah, 29 Heleb the son of Baanah kof Netophah, Ittai the son of Ribai of lGibeah of the people of Benjamin, 30 Benaiah mof Pirathon, Hiddai of the brooks of nGaash, 31 Abi-albon the Arbathite, Azmaveth of oBahurim, 32 Eliahba the Shaalbonite, the sons of Jashen, Jonathan, 33 pShammah the Hararite, Ahiam the son of Sharar the Hararite, 34 Eliphelet the son of Ahasbai qof Maacah, rEliam the son of sAhithophel the Gilonite, 35 Hezro13 tof Carmel, Paarai the Arbite, 36 Igal the son of Nathan uof Zobah, Bani the Gadite, 37 Zelek the Ammonite, Naharai vof Beeroth, the armor-bearer of Joab the son of Zeruiah, 38 wIra the xIthrite, Gareb the Ithrite, 39 yUriah the Hittite: thirty-seven in all.

David's Census

24 zaAgain the anger of the Lord was kindled against Israel, and he incited David against them, saying, bGo, number Israel and Judah. So the king said to Joab, the commander of the army,1 who was with him, Go through all the tribes of Israel, cfrom Dan to Beersheba, and number the people, that I may know the number of the people. But Joab said to the king, dMay the Lord your God add to the people a hundred times as many as they are, while the eyes of my lord the king still see it, but why does my lord the king delight in this thing? But the king's word prevailed against Joab and the commanders of the army. So Joab and the commanders of the army went out from the presence of the king to number the people of Israel. They crossed the Jordan and began from eAroer,2 and from the city that is in the middle of the fvalley, toward Gad and on to gJazer. Then they came to Gilead, and to Kadesh in the land of the Hittites;3 and they came to Dan, and from Dan4 they went around to hSidon, and came to the fortress of Tyre and to all the cities of the iHivites and iCanaanites; and they went out to the Negeb of Judah at Beersheba. So when they had gone through all the land, they came to Jerusalem at the end of nine months and twenty days. And Joab gave the sum of the numbering of the people to the king: in Israel there were 800,000 valiant men jwho drew the sword, and the men of Judah were 500,000.

The Lord's Judgment of David's Sin

10 But kDavid's heart struck him after he had numbered the people. And David said to the Lord, lI have sinned greatly in what I have done. But now, O Lord, please take away the iniquity of your servant, for I have done mvery foolishly. 11 And when David arose in the morning, the word of the Lord came to nthe prophet Gad, David's oseer, saying, 12 Go and say to David, Thus says the Lord, Three things I offer5 you. Choose one of them, that I may do it to you. 13 So Gad came to David and told him, and said to him, Shall pthree6 years of famine come to you in your land? Or will you flee three months before your foes while they pursue you? Or shall there be three days' pestilence in your land? Now consider, and decide what answer I shall return to him who sent me. 14 Then David said to Gad, I am in great distress. Let us fall into the hand of the Lord, qfor his mercy is great; but let me not fall into the hand of man.

15 rSo the Lord sent a pestilence on Israel from the morning until the appointed time. And there died of the people from sDan to Beersheba 70,000 men. 16 And when tthe angel stretched out his hand toward Jerusalem uto destroy it, vthe Lord relented from the calamity and said to the angel uwho was working destruction among the people, It is enough; now stay your hand. And tthe angel of the Lord was by the threshing floor of wAraunah the Jebusite. 17 Then David spoke to the Lord when he saw the angel who was striking the people, and said, Behold, I have sinned, and I have done wickedly. But these sheep, what have they done? Please let your hand be against me and against my father's house.

David Builds an Altar

18 And Gad came that day to David and said to him, Go up, raise an altar to the Lord on the threshing floor of xAraunah the Jebusite. 19 So David went up at Gad's word, as the Lord commanded. 20 And when Araunah looked down, he saw the king and his servants coming on toward him. And Araunah went out and paid homage to the king with his face to the ground. 21 And Araunah said, Why has my lord the king come to his servant? David said, To buy the threshing floor from you, in order to build an altar to the Lord, that the plague ymay be averted from the people. 22 Then Araunah said to David, Let my lord the king take and offer up what seems good to him. Here are the oxen for the burnt offering and the zthreshing sledges and the yokes of the oxen for the wood. 23 All this, O king, Araunah gives to the king. And Araunah said to the king, May the Lord your God aaccept you. 24 But the king said to Araunah, No, but I will buy it from you for a price. I will not offer burnt offerings to the Lord my God that cost me nothing. So David bought the threshing floor and the oxen for fifty shekels7 of silver. 25 And David built there an altar to the Lord and offered burnt offerings and peace offerings. bSo the Lord responded to the plea for the land, and the plague was averted from Israel.

1 Kings Illustration

1 Kings

David in His Old Age

Now King David was old and advanced in years. And although they covered him with clothes, he could not get warm. Therefore his servants said to him, Let a young woman be sought for my lord the king, and let her wait on the king and be in his service. Let her lie in your arms,1 that my lord the king may be warm. So they sought for a beautiful young woman throughout all the territory of Israel, and found Abishag the aShunammite, and brought her to the king. The young woman was very beautiful, and she was of service to the king and attended to him, but the king knew her not.

Adonijah Sets Himself Up as King

Now bAdonijah the son of Haggith exalted himself, saying, I will be king. cAnd he prepared for himself chariots and horsemen, and fifty men to run before him. His father had never at any time displeased him by asking, Why have you done thus and so? He was also a very handsome man, dand he was born next after Absalom. He conferred with eJoab the son of Zeruiah and with fAbiathar the priest. And they followed Adonijah and helped him. But fZadok the priest and gBenaiah the son of Jehoiada and hNathan the prophet and iShimei and Rei and jDavid's mighty men were not with Adonijah.

Adonijah sacrificed sheep, oxen, and fattened cattle by the Serpent's Stone, which is beside kEn-rogel, and he invited all his brothers, the king's sons, and all the royal officials of Judah, 10 but he did not invite Nathan the prophet or Benaiah or the mighty men or lSolomon his brother.

Nathan and Bathsheba Before David

11 Then Nathan said to Bathsheba the mother of Solomon, Have you not heard that bAdonijah the son of Haggith has become king and David our lord does not know it? 12 Now therefore come, let me give you advice, that you may save your own life and the life of your son Solomon. 13 Go in at once to King David, and say to him, Did you not, my lord the king, swear to your servant, saying, mSolomon your son shall reign after me, and he shall sit on my throne? Why then is Adonijah king? 14 Then while you are still speaking with the king, I also will come in after you and confirm2 your words.

15 So Bathsheba went to the king in his chamber (now the king was very old, and Abishag the Shunammite was attending to the king). 16 Bathsheba bowed and paid homage to the king, and the king said, What do you desire? 17 She said to him, My lord, you swore to your servant by the Lord your God, saying, mSolomon your son shall reign after me, and he shall sit on my throne. 18 And now, behold, Adonijah is king, although you, my lord the king, do not know it. 19 nHe has sacrificed oxen, fattened cattle, and sheep in abundance, and has invited all the sons of the king, fAbiathar the priest, and Joab the commander of the army, but lSolomon your servant he has not invited. 20 And now, my lord the king, the eyes of all Israel are on you, to tell them who shall sit on the throne of my lord the king after him. 21 Otherwise it will come to pass, when my lord the king osleeps with his fathers, that I and my son Solomon will be counted offenders.

22 While she was still speaking with the king, Nathan the prophet came in. 23 And they told the king, Here is Nathan the prophet. And when he came in before the king, he bowed before the king, with his face to the ground. 24 And Nathan said, My lord the king, have you said, Adonijah shall reign after me, and he shall sit on my throne? 25 For he has gone down this day and nhas sacrificed oxen, fattened cattle, and sheep in abundance, and has invited all the king's sons, the commanders3 of the army, and Abiathar the priest. And behold, they are eating and drinking before him, and saying, pLong live King Adonijah! 26 qBut me, your servant, and Zadok the priest, and Benaiah the son of Jehoiada, and your servant Solomon he has not invited. 27 Has this thing been brought about by my lord the king and you have not told your servants who should sit on the throne of my lord the king after him?

Solomon Anointed King

28 Then King David answered, Call Bathsheba to me. So she came into the king's presence and stood before the king. 29 And the king swore, saying, rAs the Lord lives, who has redeemed my soul out of every adversity, 30 sas I swore to you by the Lord, the God of Israel, saying, Solomon your son shall reign after me, and he shall sit on my throne in my place, even so will I do this day. 31 Then Bathsheba bowed with her face to the ground and paid homage to the king and said, tMay my lord King David live forever!

32 King David said, Call to me Zadok the priest, Nathan the prophet, and Benaiah the son of Jehoiada. So they came before the king. 33 And the king said to them, Take with you uthe servants of your lord and have Solomon my son ride on my own mule, and bring him down to vGihon. 34 And let Zadok the priest and Nathan the prophet there wanoint him king over Israel. xThen blow the trumpet and say, yLong live King Solomon! 35 You shall then come up after him, and he shall come and sit on my throne, for he shall be king in my place. And I have appointed him to be ruler over Israel and over Judah. 36 And Benaiah the son of Jehoiada answered the king, Amen! May the Lord, the God of my lord the king, say so. 37 zAs the Lord has been with my lord the king, even so may he be with Solomon, aand make his throne greater than the throne of my lord King David.

38 So Zadok the priest, Nathan the prophet, and Benaiah the son of Jehoiada, band the Cherethites and the Pelethites went down and had Solomon ride on King David's mule and brought him to Gihon. 39 There Zadok the priest took the horn of coil from the tent and danointed Solomon. xThen they blew the trumpet, and all the people said, yLong live King Solomon! 40 And all the people went up after him, playing on pipes, and rejoicing with great joy, so that the earth was split by their noise.

41 Adonijah and all the guests who were with him heard it as they finished feasting. And when Joab heard the sound of the trumpet, he said, What does this uproar in the city mean? 42 While he was still speaking, behold, eJonathan the son of Abiathar the priest came. And Adonijah said, Come in, ffor you are a worthy man and bring good news. 43 Jonathan answered Adonijah, No, for our lord King David has made Solomon king, 44 and the king has sent with him Zadok the priest, Nathan the prophet, and Benaiah the son of Jehoiada, and the bCherethites and the Pelethites. And they had him ride on the king's mule. 45 And Zadok the priest and Nathan the prophet have anointed him king at vGihon, and they have gone up from there rejoicing, so that the city is in an uproar. This is the noise that you have heard. 46 gSolomon sits on the royal throne. 47 Moreover, the king's servants came to congratulate our lord King David, saying, hMay your God make the name of Solomon more famous than yours, and make his throne greater than your throne. And the king ibowed himself on the bed. 48 And the king also said, Blessed be the Lord, the God of Israel, jwho has granted someone4 to sit on my throne this day, my own eyes seeing it.

49 Then all the guests of Adonijah trembled and rose, and each went his own way. 50 And Adonijah feared Solomon. So he arose and went kand took hold of lthe horns of the altar. 51 Then it was told Solomon, Behold, Adonijah fears King Solomon, for behold, he has laid hold of the horns of the altar, saying, Let King Solomon swear to me first that he will not put his servant to death with the sword. 52 And Solomon said, If he will show himself a worthy man, mnot one of his hairs shall fall to the earth, but if wickedness is found in him, he shall die. 53 So King Solomon sent, and they brought him down from the altar. And he came and paid homage to King Solomon, and Solomon said to him, Go to your house.

David's Instructions to Solomon

nWhen David's time to die drew near, he commanded Solomon his son, saying, oI am about to go the way of all the earth. pBe strong, and show yourself a man, and keep the charge of the Lord your God, walking in his ways and keeping his statutes, his commandments, his rules, and his testimonies, as it is written in the Law of Moses, qthat you may prosper in all that you do and wherever you turn, that the Lord may restablish his word that he spoke concerning me, saying, sIf your sons pay close attention to their way, tto walk before me in faithfulness with all their heart and with all their soul, uyou shall not lack1 a man on the throne of Israel.

Moreover, you also know what Joab the son of Zeruiah vdid to me, how he dealt with the two commanders of the armies of Israel, wAbner the son of Ner, xand Amasa the son of Jether, whom he killed, avenging2 in time of peace for blood that had been shed in war, and putting the blood of war3 on the belt around his4 waist and on the sandals on his feet. Act therefore yaccording to your wisdom, but do not let his gray head go down to Sheol in peace. But deal loyally with the sons of zBarzillai the Gileadite, and let them be aamong those who eat at your table, bfor with such loyalty5 they met me when I fled from Absalom your brother. And there is also with you cShimei the son of Gera, the Benjaminite from Bahurim, who cursed me with a grievous curse on the day dwhen I went to Mahanaim. eBut when he came down to meet me at the Jordan, I swore to him by the Lord, saying, I will not put you to death with the sword. Now therefore do not hold him guiltless, ffor you are a wise man. You will know what you ought to do to him, and you shall gbring his gray head down with blood to Sheol.

The Death of David

10 hThen David slept with his fathers and was buried in ithe city of David. 11 And the time that David reigned over Israel was jforty years. He reigned seven years in Hebron and thirty-three years in Jerusalem. 12 kSo Solomon sat on the throne of David his father, and his kingdom was firmly established.

Solomon's Reign Established

13 Then Adonijah the son of Haggith came to Bathsheba the mother of Solomon. And she said, lDo you come peacefully? He said, Peacefully. 14 Then he said, I have something to say to you. She said, Speak. 15 He said, You know that mthe kingdom was mine, and that all Israel fully expected me to reign. However, the kingdom has turned about and become my brother's, nfor it was his from the Lord. 16 And now I have one request to make of you; do not refuse me. She said to him, Speak. 17 And he said, Please ask King Solomonhe will not refuse youto give me oAbishag the Shunammite as my wife. 18 Bathsheba said, Very well; I will speak for you to the king.

19 So Bathsheba went to King Solomon to speak to him on behalf of Adonijah. And the king rose to meet her and bowed down to her. Then he sat on his throne and had a seat brought for the king's mother, pand she sat on his right. 20 Then she said, I have one small request to make of you; do not refuse me. And the king said to her, Make your request, my mother, for I will not refuse you. 21 She said, Let oAbishag the Shunammite be given to Adonijah your brother as his wife. 22 King Solomon answered his mother, And why do you ask oAbishag the Shunammite for Adonijah? Ask for him the kingdom also, qfor he is my older brother, and on his side rare Abiathar6 the priest and Joab the son of Zeruiah. 23 Then King Solomon swore by the Lord, saying, sGod do so to me and more also if this word does not cost Adonijah his life! 24 Now therefore tas the Lord lives, who has established me and placed me on the throne of David my father, and who has made me a house, uas he promised, Adonijah shall be put to death today. 25 So King Solomon sent vBenaiah the son of Jehoiada, and he struck him down, and he died.

26 And to Abiathar the priest the king said, Go to wAnathoth, to your estate, for you deserve death. But I will not at this time put you to death, xbecause you carried the ark of the Lord God before David my father, yand because you shared in all my father's affliction. 27 zSo Solomon expelled Abiathar from being priest to the Lord, thus fulfilling athe word of the Lord that he had spoken concerning the house of Eli in Shiloh.

28 When the news came to Joabfor Joab bhad supported Adonijah although che had not supported AbsalomJoab fled to the tent of the Lord and caught hold of the dhorns of the altar. 29 And when it was told King Solomon, Joab has fled to the tent of the Lord, and behold, he is beside the altar, Solomon sent Benaiah the son of Jehoiada, saying, Go, strike him down. 30 So Benaiah came to the tent of the Lord and said to him, The king commands, Come out. But he said, No, I will die here. Then Benaiah brought the king word again, saying, Thus said Joab, and thus he answered me. 31 The king replied to him, eDo as he has said, strike him down and bury him, fand thus take away from me and from my father's house the guilt for the blood that Joab shed without cause. 32 The Lord will gbring back his bloody deeds on his own head, because, without the knowledge of my father David, he attacked and killed with the sword two men hmore righteous and better than himself, iAbner the son of Ner, commander of the army of Israel, and jAmasa the son of Jether, commander of the army of Judah. 33 gSo shall their blood come back on the head of Joab and on the head of his descendants forever. But for David and for his descendants and for his house and for his throne there shall be peace from the Lord forevermore. 34 Then Benaiah the son of Jehoiada went up and struck him down and put him to death. And he was buried in his own house in the wilderness. 35 kThe king put Benaiah the son of Jehoiada over the army in place of Joab, and the king put lZadok the priest min the place of Abiathar.

36 Then the king sent and summoned nShimei and said to him, Build yourself a house in Jerusalem and dwell there, and do not go out from there to any place whatever. 37 For on the day you go out and cross othe brook Kidron, know for certain that you shall die. pYour blood shall be on your own head. 38 And Shimei said to the king, What you say is good; as my lord the king has said, so will your servant do. So Shimei lived in Jerusalem many days.

39 But it happened at the end of three years that two of Shimei's servants ran away to qAchish, son of Maacah, king of Gath. And when it was told Shimei, Behold, your servants are in Gath, 40 Shimei arose and saddled a donkey and went to Gath to Achish to seek his servants. Shimei went and brought his servants from Gath. 41 And when Solomon was told that Shimei had gone from Jerusalem to Gath and returned, 42 the king sent and summoned Shimei and said to him, Did I not make you swear by the Lord and solemnly warn you, saying, Know for certain that on the day you go out and go to any place whatever, you shall die? And you said to me, What you say is good; I will obey. 43 Why then have you not kept your oath to the Lord and the commandment with which I commanded you? 44 The king also said to Shimei, You know in your own heart rall the harm that you did to David my father. So the Lord will sbring back your harm on your own head. 45 But King Solomon shall be blessed, tand the throne of David shall be established before the Lord forever. 46 Then the king commanded Benaiah the son of Jehoiada, and he went out and struck him down, and he died.

uSo the kingdom was established in the hand of Solomon.

Solomon's Prayer for Wisdom

vSolomon made a marriage alliance with Pharaoh king of Egypt. He took Pharaoh's daughter and brought her into wthe city of David until he had finished xbuilding his own house yand the house of the Lord zand the wall around Jerusalem. aThe people were sacrificing at the high places, however, because no house had yet been built for the name of the Lord.

Solomon bloved the Lord, cwalking in the statutes of David his father, only he sacrificed and made offerings at the high places. And the king went to Gibeon to sacrifice there, dfor that was the great high place. Solomon used to offer a thousand burnt offerings on that altar. eAt Gibeon fthe Lord appeared to Solomon gin a dream by night, and God said, Ask what I shall give you. And Solomon said, You have shown great and steadfast love to your servant David my father, because hhe walked before you in faithfulness, in righteousness, and in uprightness of heart toward you. And you have kept for him this great and steadfast love and ihave given him a son to sit on his throne this day. And now, O Lord my God, jyou have made your servant king in place of David my father, kalthough I am but a little child. I do not know lhow to go out or come in. mAnd your servant is in the midst of your people whom you have chosen, a great people, ntoo many to be numbered or counted for multitude. oGive your servant therefore an understanding mind pto govern your people, that I may qdiscern between good and evil, for who is able to govern this your great people?

10 It pleased the Lord that Solomon had asked this. 11 And God said to him, Because you have asked this, and have not asked for yourself long life or riches or the life of your enemies, but have asked for yourself understanding to discern what is right, 12 behold, rI now do according to your word. Behold, sI give you a wise and discerning mind, so that none like you has been before you and none like you shall arise after you. 13 tI give you also what you have not asked, uboth riches and honor, so that no other king shall compare with you, all your days. 14 And if you will walk in my ways, keeping my statutes and my commandments, vas your father David walked, then wI will lengthen your days.

15 And Solomon xawoke, and behold, it was a dream. Then he came to Jerusalem and stood before the ark of the covenant of the Lord, and offered up burnt offerings and peace offerings, and made a feast for all his servants.

Solomon's Wisdom

16 Then two prostitutes came to the king yand stood before him. 17 The one woman said, Oh, my lord, this woman and I live in the same house, and I gave birth to a child while she was in the house. 18 Then on the third day after I gave birth, this woman also gave birth. And we were alone. There was no one else with us in the house; only we two were in the house. 19 And this woman's son died in the night, because she lay on him. 20 And she arose at midnight and took my son from beside me, while your servant slept, and laid him at her breast, and laid her dead son at my breast. 21 When I rose in the morning to nurse my child, behold, he was dead. But when I looked at him closely in the morning, behold, he was not the child that I had borne. 22 But the other woman said, No, the living child is mine, and the dead child is yours. The first said, No, the dead child is yours, and the living child is mine. Thus they spoke before the king.

23 Then the king said, The one says, This is my son that is alive, and your son is dead; and the other says, No; but your son is dead, and my son is the living one. 24 And the king said, Bring me a sword. So a sword was brought before the king. 25 And the king said, Divide the living child in two, and give half to the one and half to the other. 26 Then the woman whose son was alive said to the king, because zher heart yearned for her son, Oh, my lord, give her the living child, and by no means put him to death. But the other said, He shall be neither mine nor yours; divide him. 27 Then the king answered and said, Give the living child to the first woman, and by no means put him to death; she is his mother. 28 And all Israel heard of the judgment that the king had rendered, and they stood in awe of the king, because they perceived that athe wisdom of God was in him to do justice.