|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
1:5-10 Indulgent parents are often chastised with disobedient children, who are anxious to possess their estates. No worldly wisdom, nor experience, nor sacredness of character, can insure the continuance in any former course of those who remain under the power of self-love. But we may well wonder by what arts Joab and Abiathar could be drawn aside.
Verse 7. - And he conferred [Hebrews "his words were" (2 Samuel 3:17, Hebrews)] with Joab [Joab's share in this conspiracy, despite his hitherto unwavering fidelity to David, is easily accounted for. He must have known that he was under David's displeasure, and he must have feared, too, that he would be an object of dislike and distrust to a successor trained, as Solomon had been, under David's and Nathan's immediate influence. He could hardly be unconscious that under a new reign his position - unless he took measures to assure it - would be a precarious one. He resolved, therefore, to secure himself by helping Adonijah to his throne. It is also highly probable that Adonijah's ambitious character was much more to his liking than that of the pious and pacific Solomon. Adonijah's physical qualities, again, would no doubt commend him to this rough soldier, who may also have sympathised with him as the eldest son. And there may have been other circumstances (such, e.g., as close personal friendship), of which we know nothing] the son of Zeruiah, and with Abiathar [in 2 Samuel 8:17, we read that "Ahimelech son of Abiathar" was priest. Similarly, 1 Chronicles 24:6. An obvious transposition] the priest. ["Abiathar's defection is still more surprising" than Joab's (Rawlinson). It is certainly remarkable, when we consider the close ties which subsisted between Abiathar and David, ties which were cemented by the blood of eighty-five persons (1 Samuel 22:18), and strengthened by the many afflictions which they had shared in common (ibid. ver. 23 to 1 Kings 28; 2 Samuel 15:24-29), that he should have joined in a plot to defeat David's cherished hopes and plans - plans, too, which he must surely have known, had the sanction of religion (1 Chronicles 28:5), and there must have been some powerful motive to account for this. May we not find one in jealousy of Zadok, who had for some time been associated with him in the priesthood, who is generally mentioned first (2 Samuel 8:17; 2 Samuel 15:29, 35, 36; 2 Samuel 20:25). as if he were the more important and influential, and whose advancement, after the prophecy of 1 Samuel 2:33-36, Abiathar could not contemplate without suspicion and dread. Is it not highly probable that among the "words" Adonijah had with him was a promise to restore the priesthood to his family exclusively, as the reward of his allegiance]: and they following Adonijah helped him (lit., as marg., "helped after Adonijah." It is a pregnant construction, "they aided having followed the side of Adonijah" (Gesenius).
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
And he conferred with Joab the son of Zeruiah, and with Abiathar the priest,.... About getting the kingdom into his hands: and they were very proper persons to consult with, who, if gained to his interest, might be of great service, the one being the general of the army, and so had a great interest in the soldiery, with whom he could make way for him, and defend him, and the other was the high priest, who might be thought to have a great share in the affections of the people, and whose office it was to anoint the king; and he might the rather apply to them, knowing them to be, on some accounts, discontented persons:
and they following Adonijah, helped him; they took on his side; Joab knowing David's hatred of him on account of his murder of Abner and Amasa, and especially for his slaying his son Absalom, and his insolent behaviour towards him, and perhaps he might fear, or had an him of what he had charged Solomon with concerning him; and Abiathar, who saw plainly that the priesthood in Eli's family was declining, and that Zadok was the favourite priest with David, and in all probability would be with Solomon; all which might influence these two persons to join Adonijah, and who, by so doing, greatly encouraged him, and many others to flock to him, which much helped and served his cause.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
7. he conferred with Joab—The anxiety of Adonijah to secure the influence of a leader so bold, enterprising, and popular with the army was natural, and the accession of the hoary commander is easily accounted for from his recent grudge at the king (see on 2Sa 19:13).
and with Abiathar the priest—His influence was as great over the priests and Levites—a powerful body in the kingdom—as that of Joab over the troops. It might be that both of them thought the crown belonged to Adonijah by right of primogeniture, from his mature age and the general expectations of the people (1Ki 2:15).
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