1 Kings 1:20
And thou, my lord, O king, the eyes of all Israel are upon thee, that thou shouldest tell them who shall sit on the throne of my lord the king after him.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
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.Tell them who shall sit on the throne - Side by side with what may be called the natural right of hereditary succession, there existed in the old world, and especially in the East, a right, if not of absolutely designating a successor, yet at any rate of choosing one among several sons. Thus, Cyrus designated Cambyses; and Darius designated Xerxes; and a still more absolute right of nomination was exercised by some of the Roman emperors. 20. the eyes of all Israel are upon thee, that thou shouldest tell them who shall sit on the throne—When the kings died without declaring their will, then their oldest son succeeded. But frequently they designated long before their death which of their sons should inherit the throne. The kings of Persia, as well as of other Eastern countries, have exercised the same right in modern and even recent times. The eyes of all Israel are upon thee; the generality of the people are in suspense, whether Adonijah’s practices be with thy consent or no, and wait for thy sentence, which they will readily embrace.

Who shall sit upon the throne of my lord the king; she speaks only in general, as owning my king’s prerogative to give the crown to which of his sons he pleased, if he had not restrained himself by his oath to Solomon.

After him, i.e. after thy death; whereby she taxeth Adonijah’s ambition, who usurped the crown whilst his father lived.

And thou, my lord, O king,.... As for thee, or what concerns thee, or is incumbent on thee, will appear from the expectations of the people:

the eyes of all Israel are upon thee, that thou shouldest tell them who shall sit on the throne of my lord the king after him; this she said, to dissipate any fears that might possess his mind on hearing what Adonijah had done, that the people in general had assented to it, and encouraged him to it; whereas the body of the people were waiting to hear what was the will and determination of David: for they not only considered him as having a power to name a successor, as was afterwards done by Rehoboam, but as one that had the mind of God revealed to him who should be his successor, to which they should pay a regard.

And thou, my lord, O king, the eyes of all Israel are upon thee, that thou shouldest tell them who shall sit on the throne of my lord the king after him.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
20. And thou, my lord, &c.] Here the variation is the other way, and now is read for thou. Both these changes seem to render the sentences more emphatic, especially as in this verse the queen is coming to the close of her argument and wishes to move David to take action in the matter at once.

Verse 20. - And thou [instead of וְאַתָּה, the Chald., Syr., and Vulg., with many MSS, read וְעַתָּה "and now;" but this looks like an emendation, and "proclivi lectioni praestat ardua." Similarly, the second "now" in ver. 18 appears as "thou" in 200 MSS. These variations are of very little consequence, but the received text, in both cases, is somewhat the more spirited] my lord, O king [the repetition (see vers. 18, 21, 24, 27) illustrates the profound deference and court paid to the Hebrew monarch (see on ver. 16), especially when we remember that these are the words of a wife], the eyes of all Israel are upon thee (cf. 1 Kings 2:15) that thou shouldest ten them who shall sit on the throne of my lord the king after him. This shows that there was no "right of primogeniture." The kings of the East have always designated their successor amongst their sons. "Alyattes designated Croesus; Cyrus designated Cambyses, and Darius designated Xerxes" (Rawlinson). "The Shah of Persia, at the eginning of this century, had sixty sons, all brought up by their mothers, with the hope of succeeding" (Holier, quoted by Stanley). And the kings of Israel claimed and exercised a similar right (2 Chronicles 11:22; 2 Chronicles 21:3). 1 Kings 1:20Bathsheba followed this advice, and went to the king into the inner chamber (החדרה), since the very aged king, who was waited upon by Abishag, could not leave his room (משׁרת for משׁרתת; cf. Ewald, 188, b., p. 490), and, bowing low before him, communicated to him what Adonijah had taken in hand in opposition to his will and without his knowledge. The second ועתּה is not to be altered into ואתּה, inasmuch as it is supported by the oldest codices and the Masora,

(Note: Kimchi says: "Plures scribae errant in hoc verbo, scribentes ואתה cum Aleph, quia sensui hoc conformius est; sed constat nobis ex correctis MSS et masora, scribendum esse ועתה cum Ain." Hence both Norzi and Bruns have taken ועתה under their protection.Compare de Rossi, variae lectt. ad h. l.)

although about two hundred codd. contain the latter reading. The repetition of ועתּה ("And now, behold, Adonijah has become king; and now, my lord king, thou knowest it not") may be explained from the energy with which Bathsheba speaks. "And Solomon thy servant he hath not invited" (1 Kings 1:19). Bathsheba added this, not because she felt herself injured, but as a sign of Adonijah's feelings towards Solomon, which showed that he had reason to fear the worst if Adonijah should succeed in his usurpation of the throne. In 1 Kings 1:20, again, many codd. have ועתּה in the place of ואתּה; and Thenius, after his usual fashion, pronounces the former the "only correct" reading, because it is apparently a better one. But here also the appearance is deceptive. The antithesis to what Adonijah has already done is brought out quite suitably by ואתּה: Adonijah has made himself king, etc.; but thou my lord king must decide in the matter. "The eyes of all Israel are turned towards thee, to tell them who (whether Adonijah or Solomon) is to sit upon the throne after thee." "The decision of this question is in thy hand, for the people have not yet attached themselves to Adonijah, but are looking to thee, to see what thou wilt do; and they will follow thy judgment, if thou only hastenest to make Solomon king." - Seb. Schmidt. To secure this decision, Bathsheba refers again, in 1 Kings 1:21, to the fate which would await both herself and her son Solomon after the death of the king. They would be הטּאים, i.e., guilty of a capital crime. "We should be punished as though guilty of high treason" (Clericus).

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