The death of Adonijah (1 Kings 2:19-2:25)

“Bathsheba went to King Solomon, to speak to him on behalf of Adonijah. The king rose to meet her. He bowed down to her. Then he sat on his throne. He had a throne brought for the king’s mother. She sat on his right. Then she said. ‘I have one small request to make of you. Do not refuse me.’ The king said to her. ‘Make your request, my mother. I will not refuse you.’ She said. ‘Let Abishag the Shunammite be given to Adonijah your brother as his wife.’ King Solomon answered his mother. ‘Why do you ask Abishag the Shunammite for Adonijah? Ask for him the kingdom as well! He is my elder brother. Ask not only for him but also for the priest Abiathar and for Joab son of Zeruiah!’ Then King Solomon swore by Yahweh. ‘So may God do to me and more also because Adonijah has devised this scheme at the risk of his life! Now therefore as Yahweh lives, who has established me, and placed me on the throne of my father David, and who has made me a house, as he promised, Adonijah shall be put to death.’ So King Solomon sent for Benaiah son of Jehoiada. He struck him down, and he died.”

Bathsheba went to her son Solomon on behalf of Adonijah. They respectfully greeted each other. Then they sat down beside each other on their respective thrones. She said she had a request that she did not want refused. Solomon said he would not refuse her. This seems to be going well. However, when she asked him to give Abishag to Adonijah as his wife, Solomon got upset. Why do you make such a request? Do you want to give him the kingdom of Israel? He wanted to know if she was on the side of Abiathar and Joab also. King Solomon swore to Yahweh that this was a trick by Adonijah to take the throne. Yahweh had chosen him so therefore Adonijah must be put to death. He called for Benaiah who then killed Adonijah. Be careful what you ask for. Never ask for a dead man’s wife from his son. Adonijah should have just gone away. There is no happy ending here.