David was a Shepherd boy who was gifted in music and playing of instruments. During his life time he had numerous wives and children among whom were Adonijah and Solomon.
He became old, weak and weary yet at this time he was yet to appoint his successor/heir to the throne. Although God had loved one of his sons and had promised him that one from his loins was going to succeed him or sit on his throne.
Who is Adonijah and Who is Solomon?
According to 2 Samuel 3:2-4 (paraphrased), “And unto David were sons born in Hebron; and his firstborn was Amnon, of Ahinoam the Jezreelites … and the fourth Adonijah the son of Haggith ….” The passage here stated that Adonijah was the fourth son of his father King David while he was ruling in Hebron. He ruled there for seven years before becoming king of Israel.
Whereas Solomon was one of the younger brothers – say the 10th in the family. Solomon and others were born in Jerusalem when their father was the king of Israel. His mother was Bathsheba (Uriah’s wife – 2 Samuel 11: 3). The Bible stated in that same book chapter five from verses thirteen through sixteen as paraphrased thus: “And David took him more concubines and wives out of Jerusalem, after he was come from Hebron; and there were yet sons and daughters born to him. And these be the names of those that were born unto him in Jerusalem; …and Nathan and Solomon….” So, we see that Solomon was one of those born in Jerusalem.
In another dimension, the bible stated that the Lord loved Solomon when he was born and gave him the name Jedidiah through his Prophet Nathan.
What does Jedidiah mean?
Jedidiah is an Hebrew word which means “Beloved of the Lord or Friend of the Lord”. Let’s state the verse for more understanding. 2 Samuel 12: 24 – 25 as follows: ” “And David comforted Bathsheba his wife, and went in unto her, and lay with her; and she bare a son, and he called his name Solomon; and the Lord loved him. And He sent by the hand of Nathan the prophet; and he called his name Jedidiah, because of the Lord.”
Why this write up about Adonijah and Solomon?
This was because these two personalities were mentioned in connection to the throne and to show the supremacy of God concerning issues of our lives. To continue to trust our God because He is a covenant keeping God. None who put their trust in Him shall be disappointed. Yes calamity will struck, but I tell you His grace and mercies are sufficient. He does not fail His own, believe in His promises and continue to hold on to Him. And no matter how hard things may look, there is a light at the end of the tunnel.
Why was there tussle as to the Successor/Heir to the Throne of their Father?
As stated above, king David was old and weak and at that time was yet to appoint a successor to the throne. And anything could happen to him. In the first instance, when he was still vibrant, his son Absalom fought his father to take over the throne but luck ran out on his when he got stuck to the branch of a tree. This made King David’s men to seize the opportunity to struck him down and he fell by the sword.
Also David was a man that trusted God in everything and God also had declared unto him that He will set up his seed after him. Therefore David left the choice of a successor to his throne to God His Father.
Why was Adonijah after the throne being the Fourth Son?
The Bible stated that Amnon the first son had problem with Absalom concerning their little sister Tamar who happens to be of the same stock with Absalom. Two years after that, Absalom organized a feast, where he invited the King and all his brothers – i.e the king’s sons. The bible further stated that Absalom never indicated any sign of anger any day or time during these two years period but had planned with hi s men what they should do during the feast. Hence Amnon was killed causing fear, panic and pain to their father that rejected going but gave approval for the feast with his brothers.
The second born was Chileab born by Abigail (Naboth’s wife). Chileab was also born in Hebron. This child was loved by his father as well as God to the extent that God sent his prophet to name him Daniel. Apart from that not much was written about him.
The third being Absalom -the dissident son of the King. He was acclaimed to be the most handsome of all the King’s sons as recorded in 2 Samuel 14:25 which says: “But in all Israel there was none to be so much praised as Absalom for his beauty; from the sole of his foot even to the crown of his head there was no blemish in him”. That was how he was described but I termed him the dissident son because after the death of his brother, he went on self exile and returned to the land after his father had forgiven, He still went on to plot against his father as to kill and overthrow his father. He never wanted to wait who knows the throne could have been his or maybe he saw the handwriting of God on the walls based on the birth of people like Solomon into the family.
He must have been afraid that he may lose the throne as a result of which he decided to topple/overthrow his father who was now resting from all other battles from his enemies. This led to his death because God has a way of doing His own thing. And maybe he could have succeeded in killing his father since he had some Ahithophels monitoring and guiding him to destroy his own family.
May God deliver the world from such Ahithophels, because as David the servant of the Most High prayed and his counsel became foolishness so it shall be unto those who will want to destroy this beautiful place God created for us. See 2 Samuel 15:31; 17: 1- 23. While Absalom was chasing his father and his men for to kill them, his hair hung on a branch of a tree and his enemies seized the opportunity to end it all. Although his father was sore distressed on losing his son, that remained the only option to return home peacefully .
All these scenarios left Adonijah as the heir apparent to the throne but by then Solomon and others were born and God had transferred the love to Solomon. I think this made the father not to appoint anyone. Being a man after God’s heart and always surrenders everything about him to God. He already knew God’s choice will finally take over from him hence he never bothered.
Did Adonijah succeed in his bid to become King, if not why?
2 Samuel 7:12 stated thus: “And when thy days be fulfilled, and thou shalt sleep with thy fathers, I will set up they seed after thee, which shall proceed out of thy bowels, and I will establish his kingdom. There was no way Adonijah could have succeeded his father because David knew that God’s promises to His children never fails- they come to pass. So the promises made by God to him will come to pass especially on the chosen of the Lord
Adonijah didn’t understood this he couldn’t have gone to take over the kingdom when his father had not told him to do so. He also knew about God’s love for his younger brother Solomon but went ahead to try doing things with his physical power. Hence so many things stood against Adonijah when all possible considerations were to his favor from the top by the death of his elder brothers but the bottom that he was never afraid of toppled him because God was involved at that bottom.
1 Kings 1:5-50 indicated how Adonijah exalted himself by saying he was going to be the king hence prepared chariots and horsemen and other fifty men to run ahead of him. Though his father saw what was going on, he paid a deaf ear and blind sight to everything Adonijah was doing and he felt that meant approval from his father, until when informed by his wife Bathsheba through Nathan the prophet about Adonijah’s actions that He ordered the prophet and the priest to get Solomon ride on his mule to the coronation ground and be anointed as King of Israel. This action of the king brought so much fear upon Adonijah and his men who conspired to almost rob Solomon of his God given throne and he held on to the horn at the altar to make Solomon swear not to hurt him.
Did Adonijah show himself worthy as commanded by the King?
Adonijah should have remained quiet and rule the kingdom of their father with his younger brother whom he himself confirmed in the passage below that “it was his from the Lord”. It’s like telling God why did He choose David over all his elder brothers being someone that was never in the picture of man(i.e David was never qualified )- to become King. if not for God controlling His Servant Samuel, Samuel could have anointed the first of Jesse’s sons but no God is not a man that looks at our physicals but God judges us or sees our heart hence Adonijah missed it all including losing his life.
Adonijah went to meet the king’s mother as recorded in 1 Kings 2:13 -25 and I quote: “And Adonijah the son of Haggith came to Bathsheba the mother of Solomon. And she said, “Comest thou Peaceably?” And he said, peaceably. He said, moreover, I have somewhat to say unto thee.
And she said, say on. And he said, Thou knowest that the kingdom was mine, and that all Israel set their faces on me, that I should reign; howbeit the kingdom is turned about, and is become my brother’s; for it was his from the Lord. And now I ask one petition of thee, deny me not. And she said unto him, say on. And he said, Speak I pray thee unto Solomon the king, (for he will not say thee nay), that he give me Abishag the Shunammite to wife.
Who is Abishag?
I Kings 1: 1-4 stated thus: “Now King David was old and stricken in years; and they covered him with clothes, but he gat no heat. Wherefore his servants said unto him, let there be sought for my lord the king, a young virgin; and let her stand before the king, and let her cherish him and let her lie in thy bosom, that my lord the king may get heat. So they sought for a fair damsel throughout all the coasts of Israel, and found Abishag a shunammite, and brought her to the king. And the damsel was very fair, and cherished the king, and ministered to him; but the king knew her not.”
Did Adonijah succeed in this quest?
Why should Adonijah ask for his father’s youngest wife from Solomon? Whether the king knew her or not, does not give him the right to request her for to wife. This singular act angered King Solomon who promised him instant death that day. So rather than enjoying his life as the king’s elder brother, he met his death for not living a worthy life as appointed unto him by the king.
This is an interesting story in that something could be your inheritance or right to have/own, but no one could question the authority that be when you do not get it. Live the best possible way that you could achieve your own fame, status etc by engaging yourself in meaningful ventures that will announce you better or that will keep you going.
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He made promises to Abraham and brought them to pass. To Jacob, and they came to pass. There’s no one who had put their trust in God that were disappointed in any way.
Therefore, let us trust even as David was called the man after God’s heart and as He promised that no matter what happened, His kingdom shall be established forever, here we are- Jesus Christ came from the lineage of David thereby fulfilling that promise of establishing to come to pass.
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