Now therefore, as the LORD lives, which has established me, and set me on the throne of David my father, and who has made me an house, as he promised, Adonijah shall be put to death this day.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)As the Lord liveth, which hath . . .—There is something characteristic in this adjuration, as compared with that of David in 1Kings 1:29. In David we always see the living man, whose soul longs after God with a vivid personal devotion. Solomon is emphatically the king, sitting on the throne of David, with his house established for ever. In the majesty of his royalty his individual character is to us almost entirely merged.1 Kings 2:24. And set me on the throne of David — For, though Adonijah be my elder brother, yet I have an undoubted right and title to the crown, from the promise and appointment of that God who disposes of all kingdoms, and especially this of Israel, to whom he pleaseth; and therefore Adonijah in this and his former attempt is guilty of treason against me, and of rebellion against God. And who hath made me a house — Who hath given me posterity, as this phrase often means; see Exodus 1:21; for Rehoboam was probably born before this time: or rather, who hath established me in the house and throne of David, and so hath fulfilled in and to me the promise made to him respecting his house, (2 Samuel 7:11,) and the settlement of the crown in him and his seed. Adonijah shall be put to death this day — “Had Adonijah lived under our constitution, he would have had a fair hearing before conviction. But we should remember that in the kingdoms of the East the government was absolute, and the power of life or death entirely in the prince; so that Solomon, without the formality of any process, could pronounce his brother dead; and because he conceived that in cases of this nature delays were dangerous, might send immediately and have him despatched; though we cannot but say that it would have been more to his commendation, had he showed more clemency and spared his life.” — Dodd.
if Adonijah have not spoken this word against his own life—Whether there was a treasonable design to conceal under this request or not, the act, according to Eastern notions, was criminal, and of dangerous consequence to the state. There is no ground of censure upon Solomon for cruelty or precipitation in this instance. He had pardoned Adonijah's former conspiracy; but this new attempt was rebellion against the viceroy appointed by the divine King and called for condign punishment. The office of executioner was among the Hebrews, as in other ancient countries of the East, performed unceremoniously and privately—often without any previous warning—by the captain of the guard, or one of his officers (Mt 14:10).
Who hath made me an house; either,
1. Who hath given me posterity, as that phrase is used, Exodus 1:21, and elsewhere; for Rehoboam most probably was born before this time, by comparing 1 Kings 14:21. Or rather,
2. Who hath established me in the house and throne of David; which he thus expresseth, to signify, that God hath fulfilled in and to him that promise which he made to David, in 2 Samuel 7:11, where the same phrase is used, and where it doth not so much signify the giving of David posterity, which he had sufficiently before that time, as the settlement of the crown in him and his seed.
Adonijah shall be put to death this day; for he knew delays were dangerous in matters of that nature.
which hath established me, and set me upon the throne of David my father, and who hath made me an house, as he promised; who had placed him on his father's throne, and established him there, in spite of all his enemies, and had given him a firm and stable kingdom, which was not to be shaken and subverted by the power and policy of conspirators, according to the promise of God by Nathan, 2 Samuel 7:11;
Adonijah shall be put to death this day; both for his former conspiracy, he only having had a reprieve, and which was to continue on his good behaviour, 1 Kings 1:51, and for his fresh attempt in forming treasonable schemes to ascend the throne if possible; wherefore, being a dangerous man, and no longer to be trusted, Solomon was determined to dispatch him at once, and being established in his kingdom, he had nothing to fear from those in the conspiracy with him.Now therefore, as the LORD liveth, which hath established me, and set me on the throne of David my father, and who hath made me an house, as he promised, Adonijah shall be put to death this day.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)24. who hath made me a house] ‘House’ here is used in the sense of ‘possessions,’ ‘property.’ So (Esther 8:1) the ‘house’ of Haman, i.e. his wealth and property, is given to queen Esther. The LXX. renders in that place by ὅσα ὑπῆρχεν Ἀμάν.Verse 24. - Now therefore [Heb. and now], as the Lord liveth, which hath established me, and set me [a י has here crept into the text; obviously owing to the fact that this same letter both precedes and follows] on the throne of David my father, and who hath made me an house [Keil and Wordsworth understand by this expression, "hath given me issue." "Solomon," says Keil, "had already one son, viz., Rehoboam, about a year old (comp. 1 Kings 11:42 with 1 Kings 14:21, and 2 Chronicles 12:13)." But some doubt seems to attach to the "forty and one years" mentioned as the age of Rehoboam at his accession. Bahr says Solomon's "marriage did not occur till afterwards (1 Kings 3:1). And we find from 1 Kings 11:38; 2 Samuel 7:11, 27, that to 'make,' or 'build an house,' means to found a lasting dynasty"], as he promised [Heb. spake, i.e., at 2 Samuel 7:11-13], Adonijah shall be put to death this day. 1 Kings 2:13-18. Adonijah came to Bathsheba with the request that she would apply to king Solomon to give him Abishag of Shunem as his wife. Bathsheba asked him, "Is peace thy coming?" i.e., comest thou with a peaceable intention? (as in 1 Samuel 16:4), because after what had occurred (1 Kings 1:5.) she suspected an evil intention. He introduced his petition with these words: "Thou knowest that the kingdom was mine, and all Israel had set its face upon me that I should be king, then the kingdom turned about and became my brother's; for it became his from the Lord." The throne was his, not because he had usurped it, but because it belonged to him as the eldest son at that time, according to the right of primogeniture. Moreover it might have been the case that many of the people wished him to be king, and the fact that he had found adherents in Joab, Abiathar, and others, confirms this; but his assertion, that all Israel had set its eyes upon him as the future king, went beyond the bounds of truth. At the same time, he knew how to cover over the dangerous sentiment implied in his words in a very skilful manner by adding the further remark, that the transfer of the kingdom to his brother had come from Jehovah; so that Bathsheba did not detect the artifice, and promised to fulfil his request (1 Kings 2:16.) to intercede with king Solomon for Abishag to be given him to wife. את־פּני אל־תּשׁבי, "do not turn back my face," i.e., do not refuse my request.
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