Many histories are books of kings and their reigns, to which the affairs of their kingdoms are reduced; this is a piece of honour that has commonly been paid to crowned heads. The holy Scripture is the history of the kingdom of God among men, under the several administrations of it; but there the King is one and his name one. The particular history now before us accounts for the affairs of the kingdoms of Judah and Israel, yet with special regard to the kingdom of God among them; for still it is a sacred history, much more instructive and not less entertaining than any of the histories of the kings of the earth, to which (those of them that are of any certainty) it is prior in time; for though there were kings in Edom before there was any king in Israel, #Ge 36:31 (foreigners, in that point of state, got the precedency), yet the history of the kings of Israel lives, and will live, in holy Writ, to the end of the world, whereas that of the kings of Edom is long since buried in oblivion; for the honour that comes from God is durable, while the honour of the world is like a mushroom, which comes up in a night and perishes in a night.—The Bible began with the story of patriarchs, and prophets, and judges, men whose converse with heaven was more immediate, the record of which strengthens our faith, but is not so easily accommodated to our case, now that we expect not visions, as the subsequent history of affairs like ours under the direction of common providence; and here also we find, though not many types and figures of the Messiah, yet great expectations of him; for not only prophets, but kings, desired to see the great mysteries of the gospel, #Lu 10:24.—The two books of Samuel are introductions to the books of the Kings, as they relate the origin of the royal government in Saul and of the royal family in David. These two books give us an account of David's successor, Solomon, the division of his kingdom, and the succession of the several kings both of Judah and Israel, with an abstract of their history down to the captivity. And as from the book of Genesis we may collect excellent rules of economics, for the good governing of families, so from these books we may collect rules of politics, for the directing of public affairs. There is in these books special regard had to the house and lineage of David, from which Christ came. Some of his sons trod in his steps, and others did not. The characters of the kings of Judah may be thus briefly given:—David the devout, Solomon the wise, Rehoboam the simple, Abijah the valiant, Asa the upright, Jehoshaphat the religious, Jehoram the wicked, Ahaziah the profane, Joash the backslider, Amaziah the rash, Uzziah the mighty, Jotham the peaceable, Ahaz the idolater, Hezekiah the reformer, Manasseh the penitent, Amon the obscure, Josiah the tender-hearted, Jehoahaz, Jehoiakim, Jehoiachin, and Zedekiah, all wicked, and such as brought ruin quickly on themselves and their kingdom. The number of the good and bad is nearly equal, but the reigns of the good were generally long and those of the bad short, the consideration of which will make the state of Israel not altogether so bad in this period as at first it seems. In this first book we have,
I. The death of David, 1 Kings 1 and 2.
II. The glorious reign of Solomon, and his building the temple (1 Kings 3-10), but the cloud his sun set under, 1 Kings 11.
III. The division of the kingdoms in Rehoboam, and his reign and Jeroboam's, 1 Kings 12-14.
IV. The reigns of Abijah and Asa over Judah, Baasha and Omri over Israel, 1 Kings 15 and 16.
V. Elijah's miracles, 1 Kings 17-19.
VI. Ahab's success against Benhadad, his wickedness and fall, 1 Kings 20-22. And in all this history it appears that kings, though gods to us, are men to God, mortal and accountable.


In this chapter we have,
I. David declining in his health, #1Ki 1:1-4.
II. Adonijah aspiring to the kingdom, and treating his party, in order to it, #1Ki 1:5-10.
III. Nathan and Bathsheba contriving to secure the succession to Solomon, and prevailing for an order from David for the purpose, #1Ki 1:11-31.
IV. The anointing of Solomon accordingly, and the people's joy therein, #1Ki 1:32-40.
V. The effectual stop this put to Adonijah's usurpation, and the dispersion of his party thereupon, #1Ki 1:41-49.
VI. Solomon's dismission of Adonijah upon his good behaviour, #1Ki 1:50-53.

1 Kings 1

V. 1

Now we come to David's death and transfer of the kingdom. David is his three score and ten (about 70) here, his sin catches up with him in an early death.

Unless the Lord provides the heat, there is none. All the worldly acclaim does him no good now. He is cold in bed, and his royal garments will not keep him warm.

A person needs to remember his creator in the days of his youth because there is a day coming when he will be in this shape, as was David, and the desire to serve the Lord will be impossible to fulfil.

Man's answer was to get another wife. David already had so many wives that they got him into more problems than he could handle.

Abishag–Father of error-cause of wandering.
Adonijah–Jah is my lord (2 Samuel 3:4)

They sought the kingdom over for the answer, but when a man's time is spent, he will go. This is one appointment for which he will not be late. They should have been seeking Nathan's advice, not trying to sastify their own lusts.

V. 5 Adonijah — with Amnon and Absalom dead, Adonijah is now the next in line for the throne in man's eyes.

1. He exalted himself.
He did the same as Absalom did – Chariots, Horsemen, Runners before him.

His dad had never said no to him, so now as a 30 year old, he expects the same treatment. Notice this does not say that Adonijah had never displeased his dad, bu that David had never displeased his son. This was evidently a problem he had with all of his sons, e.g., Amnon, 2 Samuel 13:13.

Of course, the Son of David, Christ, never displeased His Father, and in fact, found His joy and happiness in pleasing His Father. And His Father never had to be displeased with Him, or also never had to displease Him by telling or correcting Him.

This will hold true for the Divine Father-Son relationship, but not for the human one. Although in Christ as born again children of His, we can now make the same Father-Son claim through faith before the Father. I now have the righteousness of Christ before the Father.

V. 7

Some good, faithful people of David's got involved here in the overthrow, including Joab. Joab saw the handwriting on the wall, and saw here his las tchance to survive and die a natural death.

All of the king's sons were called together, except Solomon. Adonijah wanted to show the public a unity among the king's sons for himself to be king.

He gave the appearance that David the King knew all about his taking the throne, but David knew nothing about it.

Nathan calls Bathsheba, and the two of them take the matter to David, though on his death bed, was still king.

V. 17.

Really, the only record we have of David promising Bathsheba that Solomon would reign, although Nathan had told David that Solomon would, when he said that a peaceful man would reign over God's people. 2 Samuel 11.

They bring to David's attention that his son, Adonijah, with Abiathar the priest and Joab the captain of the army, has claimed the throne. Here we see again that David never tells Adonijah NO, even as he takes steps to prevent civil war; rather, he sets up Solomon as king.

1. He continues to spoil Adonijah.
2. He desires to prevent civil war between Adonijah and Solomon.


V. 21, while Adonijah usurped the throne and reigned, the Man of Peace, Solomon's, life was in danger, as it is today. As long as the usurper is on the throne in our lives, his desire is to put away the Man of Peace. And the battle rages.

The world system today counts Christ and His followers as offenders—offenders against their system. (Good notes from RJR on this.)

David takes mediate steps to establish the proper king of peace, Solomon.

V. 41.

Some day, the earth will ‘rend' with shouts of joy, as the King of Peace is given His rightful place.

Only the Lord Christ has been anointed with oil above His brethren (v. 39), but He had not yet been properly exalted in public. While the world's crowd is eating and drinking and making mere with the usurper, the King of Peace is quietly gathering His followers together, growing as leaven in the meal, or as the small mustard seed. Then the time is right, He will be exalted to His proper place.

The usurpers here thought it was "in the bag"; they found out differently when the Father spoke, and placed Solomon on the throne.

The usurpers were so involved in their worldly pleasures (eating, drinking and making merry) that they did not even realize Solomon had been anointed had ascended to the throne until it was all over. Some today, the usurper's crowd, are so involved in their pleasures that they do not even realize there is a rightful king who will reign in truth and righteousness, through His followers.

There are a few that change sides from the usurper's kingdom to the Greater than Solomon's kingdom, but thus far they seem to be the minority.

V. 49.

They had good reason to be fearful. They had chosen the wrong side, and now they were going to be called into account over their wrong choice. The Lord of the house is back. The owner of the vineyard is here, and the triumph of the wicked is short. It seems right now that Adonijah is reigning, and that he will forever, but it will not in a time to come.

Adonijah realized he had better "kiss the Son lest he be angry", and he does here. However, his true nature comes out in the next chapter, and Solomon must deal with him.

Solomon agreed to show mercy to his half brother, Adonijah, and let him live, but his spirit of rebellion could not be hidden behind his nice words.

Thus, Solomon establishes his throne by mercy, but he kept it by law.