Adonijah Attempts to Become King

The Beatles rebellion against the God of the Bible goes way back for most of them! One example is the fact that John Lennon was taken to Sunday School by his Aunt Mimi. He even sang in the choir. But, by age 11, John was barred from Sunday services in his aunt’s Anglican ch … More


Prior to David’s ascension to the throne, he had been hunted and persecuted by his predecessor, King Saul.  Now, once again, at the end of his life he is posed with a threat as to who will be the king. As the scene opens in chapter one, David is getting old and his domestic troubles have followed him to his deathbed. In his hour of weakness another one of his sons, Adonijah, takes advantage of his father’s condition and attempts to snatch the throne. Sensing that David expects Solomon to succeed him as king, Adonijah plots to install himself as king.

Adonijah was the fourth and probably the oldest surviving son of David (II Sam. 3:4). With this status, he no doubt, felt that he was the rightful heir to his father’s throne. Gaining the support of two of David’s most trusted deputies, Joab and Abiathar, he planned a coup (v. 9, 19, 26).  Joab, David’s nephew (I Chron. 2:16), had been David’s famous general and Abiathar, the priest, had been a companion and confidant of David for years. With the military and religious backing, Adonijah summoned a group of followers to a feast and had them pronounce himself as the new king (v. 25). He had invited to this feast all the important people in the government who were not firmly allied with his father.  However, he didn’t invite his brother, Solomon, or Bathsheba, the King’s wife. No doubt they would have been the first to be killed if the coup had succeeded.


This is the story of a father who had never disciplined his son or opposed his wishes as a child (v. 6). If I had not been firm and consistent with scriptural discipline in my home I may have reaped some of the same results that David did.

I Kings 1:1-10 (English Standard Version)

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, 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 Shunammite, 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. Now Adonijah the son of Haggith exalted himself, saying, "I will be king." And 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, and he was born next after Absalom. He conferred with Joab the son of Zeruiah and with Abiathar the priest. And they followed Adonijah and helped him. But Zadok the priest and Benaiah the son of Jehoiada and Nathan the prophet and Shimei and Rei and David's mighty men were not with Adonijah. Adonijah sacrificed sheep, oxen, and fattened cattle by the Serpent's Stone, which is beside En-rogel, and he invited all his brothers, the king's sons, and all the royal officials of Judah, but he did not invite Nathan the prophet or Benaiah or the mighty men or Solomon his brother.

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