1 Kings 1:5 MEANING

1 Kings 1:5
(5) Adonijah (my Lord is Jehovah), David's fourth son, born in Hebron (2 Samuel 3:4), at least thirty-three years before. From the words of Solomon in 1 Kings 2:22, we may gather that he claimed the throne as being now the eldest son. Hence it is probable that Chileab (or Daniel, see 2 Samuel 3:3; 1 Chronicles 3:1), the second son, was dead, as well as Amnon and Absalom. The similarity between Adonijah and Absalom, in respect of personal beauty, favour with a too-indulgent father, ambition and trust in popularity, is evidently suggested by the narrative, which places them in close connection, although born of different mothers. The means, moreover, which Adonijah employed, the body-guard of fifty men, and the maintenance of "chariots and horsemen," are exactly imitated from the example of Absalom (2 Samuel 15:1); and we note that the festal sacrifice, with the support of two important leaders in peace and war, recalls the same model. But Adonijah hardly shows the craft and ruthless determination of the elder rebel. His attempt on the crown seems crude and ill-planned in conception, and wanting in promptitude of action.

Verse 5. - Then Adonijah [ = "Jehovah is my Lord." The fourth son of David, and now apparently the eldest surviving. It seems probable that Chileab, or Daniel (1 Chronicles 3:1), David's second son, died in infancy. For Amnon's death, see 2 Samuel 13:29; for Absalom's, 2 Samuel 18:14. He must now have been between thirty-three and forty years of age (having been born in Hebron)] the son of Haggith [ = "Festive" (Gesen.) "the dancer" (Stanley)] exalted himself, saying [to him self and his confederates], I will be king. [It is not difficult to trace this resolve to its sources. They were

(1) his seniority (1 Kings 2:22). It is true there was no "right of primogeniture" in the Hebrew monarchy. "The God King had reserved to Himself the choice of the earthly king" (Keil). David himself was not the eldest, but the youngest brother. At the same time primogeniture, ceteris paribus, would have, and as a matter of fact had, considerable weight. The firstborn had the birthright; can we doubt he would expect the crown, and think it hard if he were passed over? (see 2 Chronicles 21:3).

(2) His personal attractions. Adonijah would think that his beauty and stature (Josephus mentions the latter) marked him out, as similar gifts had done Saul (1 Samuel 9:2),. for the throne.

(3) He was encouraged in his pretensions, if indeed they were not suggested to him, by others, by Joab, for example (see on ver. 7).

(4) Possibly love for the beautiful Shunammite and the desire to gain possession of her may have strengthened his resolves. It is noteworthy that he and his beauty are mentioned just after her and hers]: and he prepared [Hebrews made] him chariots and horsemen [rather horses, as in 1 Samuel 8:11; 1 Kings 5:6, Hebrews The former passage almost settles the meaning here. Keil assumes that a mounted escort is meant], and fifty men to run before him [as Absalom before him (2 Samuel 15:1). Adonijah seems in every way to have imitated Absalom. Josephus says he resembled him in disposition. Chariots, horses, and outrunners are mentioned (1 Samuel 8:11) as the very first of the king's insigina. Horses were such natural and familiar tokens of royal state (not being employed in agriculture or for travelling), that the Hebrew kings were warned (Deuteronomy 17:16) against multiplying them. Outrunners again, such as the Roman emperors had (called by them cursores), and such as we find at the present day in Egypt, footmen who precede the chariot at full speed, and by their shrill cries clear the way, are admirably calculated to impress the public mind. According to Morier, "runners before the king's horse in Persia are indispensable to the royal state." Adonijah hoped by this display of regal pomp to win the suffrages of the people.]

1:5-10 Indulgent parents are often chastised with disobedient children, who are anxious to possess their estates. No worldly wisdom, nor experience, nor sacredness of character, can insure the continuance in any former course of those who remain under the power of self-love. But we may well wonder by what arts Joab and Abiathar could be drawn aside.Then Adonijah the son of Haggith exalted himself,.... This was his mother's name, 2 Samuel 3:4; his father David being old and infirm, and not like to live long, notable to oppose him; and he being the eldest son, and a comely person, was inspired with ambition to set up for king:

saying, I will be king; though he knew that Solomon was appointed of God, and promised by David, and expected by the people to be king, yet he was resolved to set up himself for king, and try if he could not get himself to the throne; on this he was bent and determined:

and he prepared him chariots and horsemen, and fifty men to run before him; just as Absalom had done, when he had the same thing in view, to make him respectable among the people, see 2 Samuel 15:1.

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