And Nathan said, My lord, O king, have you said, Adonijah shall reign after me, and he shall sit on my throne?
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)Hast thou said.—The question here and in 1Kings 1:27 is, of course, merely intended to draw out denial; but it is singularly true to nature that it does so by the assumption (natural in court language) that nothing of such a kind could be even conceived as done without the king’s will. There is something striking in the contrast of the deference of Nathan as a counsellor on state business with the bold superiority of his tone in the discharge of his true prophetic office (as in 2Samuel 7:2-17; 2Samuel 12:1-14).Is this done by thy consent? without which it seems strange that he durst attempt it.
hast thou said, Adonijah shall reign after me, and he shall sit upon my throne? surely it can never be, because of the notice which he himself had given him from the Lord, that one to be born should succeed him, plainly pointing to Solomon; and also because of the oath which he had sworn, to which Nathan was privy, that Solomon should reign after him; and yet if he had not given such orders, it was exceeding strange that Adonijah should presume to do what he had done.And Nathan said, My lord, O king, hast thou said, Adonijah shall reign after me, and he shall sit upon my throne?
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)24. hast thou said] There is nothing in the Hebrew to mark the question. It must have been indicated by the tone. It would come with much force from Nathan, as he knew all the circumstances of God’s promise that Solomon should be king after David. He shews by his language in 1 Kings 1:27 that any change in the plans for the succession should not have been made without his knowledge. After the divine messages which had been sent to the king through Nathan, the prophet’s relation to David was different from that of other subjects.Verse 24. - And Nathan said, My Lord, O king, hast thou said [the Hebrews has no question, but a strong affirmation: "thou hast said," i.e., "thou must have said (Du hast wohl gesagt." Bahr). Nathan puts it thus forcibly, in order to draw from the king a disclaimer], Adonijah shall reign after me, and he shall sit upon my throne? [Same words as in vers. 13, 17, and possibly designedly so. The coincidence conveys the meaning, "Thou hast sworn Solomon shall reign," etc. "Thou hast said, Adonijah shall reign," etc.]
(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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