1 Kings 1:12
Now therefore come, let me, I pray you, give you counsel, that you may save your own life, and the life of your son Solomon.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
(12) The life of . . . Solomon.—The usurpation of Adonijah would, as a matter of course, be sealed by the blood of his rival Solomon. (Comp. 2Chronicles 21:4.) Bath-sheba herself need hardly have been sacrificed; but her position of favour with David would excite jealousy, and Solomon, being still young, might well be thought only an instrument in her hands.

1:11-31 Observe Nathan's address to Bathsheba. Let me give thee counsel how to save thy own life, and the life of thy son. Such as this is the counsel Christ's ministers give us in his name, to give all diligence, not only that no man take our crown, Re 3:11, but that we save our lives, even the lives of our souls. David made a solemn declaration of his firm cleaving to his former resolution, that Solomon should be his successor. Even the recollection of the distresses from which the Lord redeemed him, increased his comfort, inspired his hopes, and animated him to his duty, under the decays of nature and the approach of death.It would have been in accordance with general Eastern custom for Solomon to suffer death, if Adonijah had succeeded in his attempt. But to have executed his mother also would have been an unusual severity. Still, such cases sometimes occurred: Cassander put to death Roxana, the widow of Alexander the Great, at the same time with her son, the young Alexander. 11-27. Nathan spake unto Bath-sheba … let me … give thee counsel, &c.—The revolt was defeated by this prophet, who, knowing the Lord's will (2Sa 7:12; 1Ch 22:9), felt himself bound, in accordance with his character and office, to take the lead in seeing it executed. Hitherto the succession of the Hebrew monarchy had not been settled. The Lord had reserved to Himself the right of nomination (De 17:15), which was acted upon in the appointments both of Saul and David; and in the case of the latter the rule was so far modified that his posterity were guaranteed the perpetual possession of the sovereignty (2Sa 7:12). This divine purpose was known throughout the kingdom; but no intimation had been made as to whether the right of inheritance was to belong to the oldest son. Adonijah, in common with the people generally, expected that this natural arrangement should be followed in the Hebrew kingdom as in all others. Nathan, who was aware of the old king's solemn promise to Solomon, and, moreover, that this promise was sanctioned by the divine will, saw that no time was to be lost. Fearing the effects of too sudden excitement in the king's feeble state, he arranged that Bath-sheba should go first to inform him of what was being transacted without the walls, and that he himself should follow to confirm her statement. The narrative here not only exhibits the vivid picture of a scene within the interior of a palace, but gives the impression that a great deal of Oriental state ceremonial had been established in the Hebrew court. For he will never reckon himself safe till his competitor and his friends be taken out of the way. Now therefore come, let me, I pray thee, give thee counsel,.... How to conduct in this affair, which she being a woman, and no doubt surprised and confounded at this relation, might be at a loss what to do; wherefore Nathan, being a wise man, and a faithful friend, offers to give the best advice he could, and desires her attention to it: says he,

that thou mayest save thine own life, and the life of thy son Solomon; which would be the usurper's first care to take away, that he might have no rival, and none to disturb him in his government; which step has been often taken by usurpers to secure themselves, see Judges 9:5.

Now therefore come, let me, I pray thee, give thee counsel, that thou mayest save thine own {g} life, and the life of thy son Solomon.

(g) For Adonijah will destroy you and your son, if he reigns.

EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
12. save thine own life, and the life of thy son Solomon] Because it has ever been the policy of an Oriental usurper, as soon as ever he had power enough, to put out of the way those who were likely to oppose him, and so make his throne more secure.Verse 12. - Now therefore come, let me give [Hebrews counsel] thee counsel, that thou mayest save [Hebrews and save, i.e., by acting upon it] thine own life, and the life of thy son Solomon. The custom of Eastern kings - to secure their thrones by a massacre of their rivals - has received many illustrations, notably among the Ottomans, and is receiving one in Burmah at the present moment (May, 1879). We have Scripture instances in Judges 9:5; 1 Kings 15:29; 2 Kings 10:7, 14; 2 Kings 11:1 (cf. 1 Samuel 24:21). To put a royal mother to death, along with her offspring, though perhaps unusual, was not unknown. Rawlinson cites the instances of Cleopatra, widow of Philip of Macedon, who was murdered with her infant son Caranus by Olympias; and Roxana, widow of Alexander the Great, who, with her son, was put to death by Cassander. Nathan does not say this will be, but may be, Bathsheba's fate. "And ( equals for) his father had never troubled him in his life (מיּמיו, a diebus ejus, i.e., his whole life long), saying, "Why hast thou done this?" Such weak oversight on the part of his father encouraged him to make the present attempt. Moreover, he "was very beautiful," like Absalom (see at 2 Samuel 14:25), and born after Absalom, so that after his death he appeared to have the nearest claim to the throne. The subject to ילדה is left indefinite, because it is implied in the idea of the verb itself: "she bare," i.e., his mother, as in Numbers 26:59 (vid., Ewald, 294, b.). There was no reason for mentioning the mother expressly by name, as there was nothing depending upon the name here, and it had already been given in Numbers 26:5.
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