1 Kings 2:22
Verse (Click for Chapter)
New International Version
King Solomon answered his mother, "Why do you request Abishag the Shunammite for Adonijah? You might as well request the kingdom for him--after all, he is my older brother--yes, for him and for Abiathar the priest and Joab son of Zeruiah!"

New Living Translation
"How can you possibly ask me to give Abishag to Adonijah?" King Solomon demanded. "You might as well ask me to give him the kingdom! You know that he is my older brother, and that he has Abiathar the priest and Joab son of Zeruiah on his side."

English Standard Version
King Solomon answered his mother, “And why do you ask Abishag the Shunammite for Adonijah? Ask for him the kingdom also, for he is my older brother, and on his side are Abiathar the priest and Joab the son of Zeruiah.”

New American Standard Bible
King Solomon answered and said to his mother, "And why are you asking Abishag the Shunammite for Adonijah? Ask for him also the kingdom-- for he is my older brother-- even for him, for Abiathar the priest, and for Joab the son of Zeruiah!"

King James Bible
And king Solomon answered and said unto his mother, And why dost thou ask Abishag the Shunammite for Adonijah? ask for him the kingdom also; for he is mine elder brother; even for him, and for Abiathar the priest, and for Joab the son of Zeruiah.

Holman Christian Standard Bible
King Solomon answered his mother, "Why are you requesting Abishag the Shunammite for Adonijah? Since he is my elder brother, you might as well ask the kingship for him, for Abiathar the priest, and for Joab son of Zeruiah."

International Standard Version
But King Solomon replied to his mother, "Why are you asking Abishag the Shunammite for Adonijah? Why not ask me to give up the kingdom for him, since he's my older brother, and why not ask for Abiathar the priest, and for Zeruiah's son Joab?"

NET Bible
King Solomon answered his mother, "Why just request Abishag the Shunammite for him? Since he is my older brother, you should also request the kingdom for him, for Abiathar the priest, and for Joab son of Zeruiah!"

New Heart English Bible
King Solomon answered his mother, "Why do you ask Abishag the Shunammite for Adonijah? Ask for him the kingdom also; for he is my elder brother; even for him, and for Abiathar the priest, and for Joab the son of Zeruiah."

GOD'S WORD® Translation
King Solomon then said, "Why do you ask that Abishag from Shunem be given to Adonijah? That would be the same as giving him the kingship. After all, he is my older brother. The priest Abiathar and Joab (Zeruiah's son) are supporting him."

JPS Tanakh 1917
And king Solomon answered and said unto his mother: 'And why dost thou ask Abishag the Shunammite for Adonijah? ask for him the kingdom also; for he is mine elder brother; even for him, and for Abiathar the priest, and for Joab the son of Zeruiah.'

New American Standard 1977
And King Solomon answered and said to his mother, “And why are you asking Abishag the Shunammite for Adonijah? Ask for him also the kingdom—for he is my older brother—even for him, for Abiathar the priest, and for Joab the son of Zeruiah!”

Jubilee Bible 2000
And King Solomon answered and said unto his mother, And why dost thou ask Abishag, the Shunammite, for Adonijah? Ask for him the kingdom also, for he is my elder brother and he also has Abiathar, the priest, and Joab, the son of Zeruiah.

King James 2000 Bible
And king Solomon answered and said unto his mother, And why do you ask Abishag the Shunammite for Adonijah? ask for him the kingdom also; for he is my elder brother; even for him, and for Abiathar the priest, and for Joab the son of Zeruiah.

American King James Version
And king Solomon answered and said to his mother, And why do you ask Abishag the Shunammite for Adonijah? ask for him the kingdom also; for he is my elder brother; even for him, and for Abiathar the priest, and for Joab the son of Zeruiah.

American Standard Version
And king Solomon answered and said unto his mother, And why dost thou ask Abishag the Shunammite for Adonijah? ask for him the kingdom also; for he is mine elder brother; even for him, and for Abiathar the priest, and for Joab the son of Zeruiah.

Douay-Rheims Bible
And king Solomon answered, and said to his mother: Why dost thou ask Abisag the Sunamitess for Adonias? ask for him also the kingdom: for he is my elder brother, and hath Abiathar the priest, and Joab the son of Sarvia.

Darby Bible Translation
And king Solomon answered and said to his mother, And why dost thou ask Abishag the Shunammite for Adonijah? ask for him the kingdom also; for he is mine elder brother; even for him, and for Abiathar the priest, and for Joab the son of Zeruiah.

English Revised Version
And king Solomon answered and said unto his mother, And why dost thou ask Abishag the Shunammite for Adonijah? ask for him the kingdom also; for he is mine elder brother; even for him, and for Abiathar the priest, and for Joab the son of Zeruiah.

Webster's Bible Translation
And king Solomon answered and said to his mother, And why dost thou ask Abishag the Shunamite for Adonijah? ask for him the kingdom also; for he is my elder brother; even for him, and for Abiathar the priest, and for Joab the son of Zeruiah.

World English Bible
King Solomon answered his mother, "Why do you ask Abishag the Shunammite for Adonijah? Ask for him the kingdom also; for he is my elder brother; even for him, and for Abiathar the priest, and for Joab the son of Zeruiah."

Young's Literal Translation
And king Solomon answereth and saith to his mother, 'And why art thou asking Abishag the Shunammite for Adonijah? also ask for him the kingdom -- for he is mine elder brother -- even for him, and for Abiathar the priest, and for Joab son of Zeruiah.'
Study Bible
The Execution of Adonijah
21So she said, "Let Abishag the Shunammite be given to Adonijah your brother as a wife." 22King Solomon answered and said to his mother, "And why are you asking Abishag the Shunammite for Adonijah? Ask for him also the kingdom-- for he is my older brother-- even for him, for Abiathar the priest, and for Joab the son of Zeruiah!" 23Then King Solomon swore by the LORD, saying, "May God do so to me and more also, if Adonijah has not spoken this word against his own life.…
Cross References
2 Samuel 12:8
I also gave you your master's house and your master's wives into your care, and I gave you the house of Israel and Judah; and if that had been too little, I would have added to you many more things like these!

1 Kings 1:6
His father had never crossed him at any time by asking, "Why have you done so?" And he was also a very handsome man, and he was born after Absalom.

1 Kings 1:7
He had conferred with Joab the son of Zeruiah and with Abiathar the priest; and following Adonijah they helped him.

1 Kings 2:15
So he said, "You know that the kingdom was mine and that all Israel expected me to be king; however, the kingdom has turned about and become my brother's, for it was his from the LORD.

1 Chronicles 3:2
the third was Absalom the son of Maacah, the daughter of Talmai king of Geshur; the fourth was Adonijah the son of Haggith;

1 Chronicles 3:5
These were born to him in Jerusalem: Shimea, Shobab, Nathan and Solomon, four, by Bath-shua the daughter of Ammiel;
Treasury of Scripture

And king Solomon answered and said to his mother, And why do you ask Abishag the Shunammite for Adonijah? ask for him the kingdom also; for he is my elder brother; even for him, and for Abiathar the priest, and for Joab the son of Zeruiah.

why dost

Matthew 20:22 But Jesus answered and said, You know not what you ask. Are you able …

Mark 10:38 But Jesus said to them, You know not what you ask: can you drink …

James 4:3 You ask, and receive not, because you ask amiss, that you may consume …

the kingdom

1 Kings 1:5-7,11,24,25 Then Adonijah the son of Haggith exalted himself, saying, I will …

(22) And why dost thou ask?--In Solomon's answer there is a certain bitterness, venting itself in irony, which seems to argue the mingling with kingly dignity and policy of some passionate feeling, not unlike the bursts of passion in his father, as in the case of Nabal (1Samuel 25:21-22). It certainly gives some probability to the conjecture (see Note on 1:3) that Abishag was the "fair Shulamite" of the Song of Solomon, already loved by the youthful king. In his wrath he infers, rightly or wrongly, that the hand of the conspirators is seen in this petition, and executes vengeance accordingly, summarily and without giving them any trial or opportunity of excusing themselves.

Verse 22. - And king Solomon answered and said unto his mother, And why dost thou ask Abishag the Shunammite for Adonijah? [Professor Plumptre (Dict. Bib., art. "Solomon") says this "narrative is not a little perplexing." He then specially remarks on the strangeness of Bathsheba's interceding for Adonijah, and also on Solomon's "flashing into fiercest wrath" at her request. He explains the facts, however, by "Mr. Grove's ingenious theory identifying Abishag with the Shulamite (Song of Solomon 6:13), the heroine of the Song of Songs." It is "the passionate love of Solomon for the fairest among women' that has made Bathsheba, "hitherto supreme, to fear a rival influence, and to join in any scheme for its removal." The king's vehement abruptness is in like manner accounted for. He sees in the request at once an attempt to deprive him of the woman he loves and a plot to keep him still in the tutelage of childhood. Of the ingenuity of this theory no one can doubt, nor yet that it may possibly represent the actual facts. But it is not necessary, nor does it help much to the explanation of the narrative. Bathsheba's intervention may easily be accounted for by

(1) her desire to conciliate her son's most formidable rival;

(2) her feminine interest in a love match; and

(3) her pride, which could not but be flattered, on being assured that her influence with the king was so great.

Nor is it any more difficult to assign a reason for Solomon's sudden outburst of anger. This request is evidence to him of a fresh plot against his throne, a plot so skilfully laid that its abettors have been able to deceive his own mother, and have made her a tool for its advancement. Surely this is quite enough to account for Solomon's indignation. And the theory of a love story has this disadvantage, that the young king completely ignores it in what follows, all his concern being about the kingdom, and not one word being said about the woman; and again - and this is almost fatal - his mention of Joab and Abiathar, and his subsequent dealings with them, prove conclusively that he suspected a conspiracy against his crown, not a scheme, in which these latter could have had no interest, and therefore no part, to rob him of a mistress] ask for him the kingdom also [Heb. and ask for him = and (you will next) ask for him; or, Aye, ask for him, etc. It was quite natural that Solomon should see in Adonijah's suit for Abishag an indirect, but none the less real or dangerous, attempt to compass his own downfall. For it was one of the customs of Oriental monarchies that the harem of a sovereign descended to his successor. Thus the impostor Smerdis took possession of the harem of Cambyses (Herod. 3:68), while Darius in turn had some of the wives of Smerdis (3:88). And what is much more to the point, a similar custom obtained amongst the Jews. David, for example, succeeded to the wives, along with the kingdom, of Saul (2 Samuel 12:8). And we see from the case of Abner and Rizpah (2 Samuel 3:8), and still more from that of Absalom (ch. 16:22), that to "take possession of the harem was the most decided act of sovereignty" (Lord A. Hervey, Speak. Com. on 2 Samuel 16:21). Now all these instances were of too recent a date, and had attracted far too much attention at the time, to have made it possible for them to have escaped either Solomon's or Adonijah's observation. They manifest "such a close connection in public opinion between the title to the crown and the possession of the deceased monarch's wives, that to have granted Adonijah's request would have been the strongest encouragement to his pretensions" (Rawlinson in loco). It may be said that Abishag had not really been the concubine of David (ch. 1:4), which is true, and which explains what would otherwise have been the astonishing impiety of Adonijah (Leviticus 18:8; Leviticus 20:11; cf. 1 Corinthians 5:1), and the wonderful complaisance of Bathsheba. There is no warrant for charging Adonijah (as is done by a Lapide, Wordsworth, al.) with defying the Divine law and seeking an incestuous alliance, for the historian is careful to represent Abishag as David's attendant, and not as his wife. But it is hardly probable that the nation at large knew this. People generally could only suppose that this fair young girl, chosen out of all the thousands of Israel because of her beauty, had become to all intents and purposes one of the royal seraglio. It is almost a certainty, therefore, that Adonijah's request concealed a plot for using Abishag as a stepping stone to the throne, and Solomon certainly is not to be blamed if he interpreted it by the light of contemporaneous history, and by the usages of his time and country. He knew that his brother had made one deliberate effort to supplant him, and therefore he could only conclude that this was a second, though veiled, attempt to deprive him of his kingdom]; even for him and for Abiathar the priest, and for Joab the son of Zeruiah. [The LXX. and other translators appear to have had a slightly different text before them. The LXX. renders, καὶ αὐτῷ Ἀβιάθαρ καὶ αὐτῷ, κ.τ.λ.; the Vulgate, "et habet Abiathar," etc. The Chald. paraphrases, "nonne in cansilio fuerunt ille et Abiathar," etc. Keil well remarks that "the repetition of answers entirely to the emotional character of the words." We can hardly believe, however, that in these conversations we have the ipsissima verba of the speakers If so, how were they preserved and handed down to the author? Even a "court scribe" would hardly catch every turn of expression. And possibly this interview with Bathsheba was private. It would almost seem, from the immediate mention of Joab and Abiathar, as if Solomon had received some prior intimation of this second conspiracy. Possibly his remarkable penetration had divined that mischief was brewing from the bearing of the three, who no doubt would be narrowly watched. Or he may have heard of frequent meetings on their part. Anyhow, Adonijah's suit is to him conclusive proof of a plot]. And King Solomon answered and said unto his mother,.... With as much gentleness and mildness as he could, but inwardly fired at her request, and amazed at it, and could not forbear using some degree of tartness and resentment:

and why dost thou ask Abishag the Shunammite for Adonijah? is this a small petition? is this a fit and lawful one?

ask for him the kingdom also; for this is what he means by it, that by marrying the king's widow he may step into the throne whenever any opportunity offers, as any uneasiness, or insurrection in the kingdom, or the death of Solomon; for none but a king, the Jews say (b), might marry a king's widow, not any private man; and therefore for Adonijah to ask this was interpreted affecting the kingdom, and aspiring to it, and taking his measures to obtain it; yea, it is said (c), that none but another king, the successor, might make use of his servants, handmaids, and ministers; and it is observed, that Abishag was free to Solomon, but not to Adonijah:

for he is mine elder brother; and has that to plead in his favour, and if he could obtain this, it would strengthen his title, or at least be a plausible pretence, which he might make use of, when opportunity served, to gain the people to his interest:

even for him, and for Abiathar the priest, and for Joab the son of Zeruiah; she might as well ask for them as for him; whose interest it was, and therefore desirous it might be that he should be king, that so the one might be continued in the office of high priest, and the other as general of the army; who, Solomon knew, bore him no good will, but were secretly his enemies; and he suspected that this was a scheme of theirs, and that it was by their advice Adonijah made this request; so the Targum,

"are not he, and Abiathar the priest, and Joab the son of Zeruiah, in the counsel?''

in this counsel; it is what they had consulted among themselves as a preparation to bring about a design they are contriving; probably Solomon had private notice that they were plotting against him, and this confirmed him in the truth of it; and therefore all of them were upon this punished with deprivation of office, or loss of life.

(b) Misn. Sanhedrin, c. 2. sect. 2.((c) Maimon. Hilchot Sanhedrin, c. 2. sect. 1.22. why dost thou ask Abishag … ask for him the kingdom also—(See on [291]2Sa 16:5; also see on [292]2Sa 12:8). Solomon's indignation was roused; he in a moment penetrated the artful scheme, and from his associating the names of Abiathar and Joab, he seems to have suspected or known that those deep schemers had been the prompters of Adonijah.2:12-25 Solomon received Bathsheba with all the respect that was owing to a mother; but let none be asked for that which they ought not to grant. It ill becomes a good man to prefer a bad request, or to appear in a bad cause. According to eastern customs it was plain that Adonijah sought to be king, by his asking for Abishag as his wife, and Solomon could not be safe while he lived. Ambitious, turbulent spirits commonly prepare death for themselves. Many a head has been lost by catching at a crown.
Jump to Previous
Abiathar Abishag Adonijah Elder Joab Kingdom Mother Priest Shunamite Shunammite Solomon Zeruiah
Jump to Next
Abiathar Abishag Adonijah Elder Joab Kingdom Mother Priest Shunamite Shunammite Solomon Zeruiah
Links
1 Kings 2:22 NIV
1 Kings 2:22 NLT
1 Kings 2:22 ESV
1 Kings 2:22 NASB
1 Kings 2:22 KJV

1 Kings 2:22 Biblia Paralela
1 Kings 2:22 Chinese Bible
1 Kings 2:22 French Bible
1 Kings 2:22 German Bible

Alphabetical: Abiathar Abishag Adonijah after all also and answered are as Ask asking brother brother-even do for he him his is Joab King kingdom kingdom-for might mother my of older priest request said Shunammite Solomon son the to well Why yes you Zeruiah

OT History: 1 Kings 2:22 King Solomon answered his mother Why do (1Ki iKi i Ki 1 Kg 1kg) Christian Bible Study Resources, Dictionary, Concordance and Search Tools
1 Kings 2:21
Top of Page
Top of Page