1 Kings 1:13
Go and get you in to king David, and say to him, Did not you, my lord, O king, swear to your handmaid, saying, Assuredly Solomon your son shall reign after me, and he shall sit on my throne? why then does Adonijah reign?
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
(13) Didst not thou . . . swear.—Of this oath we have no mention elsewhere. It may have belonged to the time of Solomon’s birth (2Samuel 12:24-25). In 1Chronicles 22:6-13, we find a designation of Solomon for succession, apparently earlier than this time—it being clearly understood (see 1Kings 1:20), according to Oriental custom, that such designation, without strict regard to priority of birth, lay in the prerogative of the reigning king.

1 Kings 1:13-15. Didst thou not, O king, swear unto thy handmaid? — We do not read anywhere else of this oath: but, no doubt, David had solemnly sworn to her that he would make her son his successor, knowing that God himself had designed him to that honour. And it is probable that Adonijah was not an entire stranger to what God had declared to Nathan and David on this subject: and if so, his crime was the greater in setting himself to oppose the decree of heaven. Indeed he acknowledges as much, 1 Kings 2:15. The king was very old — And therefore, probably, could not see so as to discern who had entered the chamber till Abishag, who ministered unto him, informed him.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. Didst not thou swear, i.e. Thou didst swear; which David himself owneth, 1 Kings 1:30, which probably he did to satisfy Bath-sheba’s doubts and fears about it, and to oblige himself to a compliance with the Divine will declared about it. See 1 Kings 2:15 1 Chronicles 28:5. Thine handmaid; so she calleth herself, to testify her reverence and subjection to him, not only as her husband, but as her king.

He shall sit upon my throne; another expression of the same thing, to signify David’s sincerity and fervency in his swearing, which adds to his obligation.

Why then doth Adonijah reign? how comes this to pass? or why dost thou suffer it? Go and get thee in unto King David,.... That is, go into the chamber where the king lay, at once, without any ceremony:

and say unto him, didst not thou, my lord, O king, swear unto thine handmaid, saying, assuredly Solomon thy son shall reign after me, and he shall sit upon my throne? though no mention is elsewhere made of such an oath, there undoubtedly was one, of which Nathan had knowledge, either from David or Bathsheba, or from them both, or might be present himself at the making of it; for not only Bathsheba affirms it, 1 Kings 1:17; but David owns it and confirms it, 1 Kings 1:30;

why then doth Adonijah reign? surely it cannot be with the king's knowledge and consent, so manifestly contrary to his promise and oath.

Go and get thee in unto king David, and say unto him, Didst not thou, my lord, O king, swear unto thine handmaid, saying, Assuredly Solomon thy son shall reign after me, and he shall sit upon my throne? why then doth Adonijah reign?
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
13. Didst not thou … swear unto thine handmaid] She uses terms of great humility, even though she be pleading the king’s former solemn promise. We have no record of the oath to which Bath-sheba alludes, but we may be sure that the king had imparted to her the promise which God had made to him that Solomon should be his successor in the kingdom.

The Hebrew particle כִּי, which is here and in 1 Kings 1:30 translated ‘assuredly’, seems often not intended for anything more than a mark of quotation. Like the Greek ὄτι, when it stands before a direct quotation, it should be left in most cases untranslated. In 1 Kings 11:22 it is rendered ‘but’, which would be better omitted.

shall reign after me, and he shall sit upon my throne] The fuller phrase seems intended to imply that Solomon should be in all respects the equal of his father. The pronoun ‘he’ is emphatically expressed in the original as also in 1 Kings 1:24; 1 Kings 1:30; 1 Kings 1:35. In each case the force is ‘he and no other.’Verse 13. - Go and get thee in [Hebrews come] unto king David, and say unto him, Didst not thou, my lord, O king swear unto thine handmaid [this oath of David's to Bathsheba (see vers. 17, 30) is not elsewhere recorded, but it was evidently well known to Nathan, and probably, therefore, to others also] saying, Assuredly [Hebrews that, כִּי, recitantis] Solomon thy son shall reign after me, and he [emphatic] shall sit upon my throne? why therefore doth Adonijah reign? He conferred (for the expression, compare 2 Samuel 3:17) with Joab and Abiathar the priest, who supported him. אהרי עזר, to lend a helping hand to a person, i.e., to support him by either actually joining him or taking his part. Joab joined the pretender, because he had fallen out with David for a considerable time (cf. 1 Kings 2:5-6), and hoped to secure his influence with the new king if he helped him to obtain possession of the throne. But what induced Abiathar the high priest (see at 2 Samuel 8:17) to join in conspiracy with Adonijah, we do not know. Possibly jealousy of Zadok, and the fear that under Solomon he might be thrown still more into the shade. For although Zadok was only high priest at the tabernacle at Gibeon, he appears to have taken the lead; as we may infer from the fact that he is always mentioned before Abiathar (cf. 2 Samuel 8:17; 2 Samuel 20:25, and 2 Samuel 15:24.). For we cannot imagine that Joab and Abiathar had supported Adonijah as having right on his side (Thenius), for the simple reason that Joab did not trouble himself about right, and for his own part shrank from no crime, when he thought that he had lost favour with the king.
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