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judgments, and his testimonies, as it is written in the law of Moses, that thou mayest prosper in all that thou doest, and whithersover thou turnest thyself." (1 Kings ii. 3.) Thus died that great prince, blessing the God of Israel, "in a good old age, full of days, crowned with riches and honour."
The following historical account of king Solomon cannot be uninteresting to the young Christian, as the scattered accounts of his life and reign, given by the several prophets, are brought together; and, for the first time, appear as a connected history, every page of which, while he retained his piety towards God, is rich with instruction to the humble believer, and fraught with wisdom for the consideration of the wisest statesman.
This history, independently of king Solomon, is by no means uninteresting, for as it relates many minor events of his reign, we are made acquainted with the customs, manners, and prosperity of the Israelites, who lived 1015 years B.C., as well as with their zeal and munificent liberality for God's honour, the nature and order of the government, its ecclesiastical and civil establishments, as well as with the extent of the foreign commerce that was then carried on.
Adonijah's PLOT DEFEATED SOLOMON Proclaimed
Thrones, dominion, and power Lave, in every age, awakened ambitious principles in man. No sooner did king David draw nigh the time of his dissolution, than Adonijah, the son by his wife Haggith, conceived ambitious projects, and exclaimed, "I will now be king!" Adonijah was David's fourth son—a pet boy. It is recorded of him, " that his father had not displeased him at any time in saying, 'Why hast thou done so?' and he also was a very goodly man." (1 Kings i. 6.) One might have supposed that the judgments passed on the house of Eli, on account of the vile conduct of his sons, would have guarded David from undue fondness towards his children. What is here said of his affection for Adonijah, may not be unjustly applied to his conduct towards his son Absalom, who some years previously conspired against so good a father, and perished ignominiously. (2 Sam. xviii. 9—15.) Whilst David grieved not his son Adonijah, there is no reason to doubt but that he, no less than Amnon and Absalom, occasioned extreme grief to David. Had David maintained parental authority, it is more than probable that Adonijah would not have aspired to the throne, and that in violation of the settled succession in favour of Solomon, which was by God's appointment, and which Adonijah must have known, for it is clearly stated in the 22d chapter of the 1 st of Chronicles, that Solomon was to succeed to the throne, which was some considerable time before Adonijah's revolt, for king David was not then infirm. Adonijah, on learfling that his younger brother would be called to govern Israel, was, doubtless, excited to envy. This unholy feeling might have been fanned by the jealousies existing among the ladies of the court, as regarded the regal succession, which tended to strengthen him in his rebellion.
This revolt, on the part of Adonijah, must have been very painful to the mind of David, for Adonijah was Absalom's younger brother, by his wife Haggith, and must have brought vividly to his recollection all the distress and calamity which he suffered at the rebellion of Absalom, which is minutely detailed in the Second Book of Samuel, chapters xv.—xviii., "When David went up by the ascent of Mount Olivet, and wept as he went up, and had his head covered, and he went barefoot: and all the people that was with him covered every man his head, and they went up, weeping as they went up;"—as well as the grief he felt at the death of that beloved yet disaffected son, ""When the king was much moved, went up to the chamber over the gate, and wept: and as he went, thus he said, 'O my son Absalom, my son, my son Absalom! would God I had died for thee, 0 Absalom, my son, my son!'" Haggith might have been jealous of Bathsheba, on account of the regard that David bestowed on her son Solomon; and thus a feeling of disaffection possessed the minds of,both mother and son. Adonijah, perceiving that David, from age, was unable to lead forth the armies of Israel, felt satisfied that his success was inevitable, aided by so distinguished a captain as Joab.
We are informed in the chapter above referred to, that king David, on collecting a number of artists and artisans, and providing abundantly for the building, assembled the princes and elders, when he "called for Solomon, and in their presence charged him to build a house for the Lord God of Israel, and commanded them to assist Solomon in the building. Adonijah's revolt, after this public act, was not less an insult to Jehovah than unkind to his affectionate parent, and the height of wickedness and folly. As a foul cistern cannot send forth pure water, so Adonijah, having unnatural affections, being aided by Joab, and by Abiathar the priest, cherished the proud hope of ascending his father's throne with little or no opposition.
The sacred historian recording his revolt, says, that "Adonijah killed sheep and oxen and fat cattle at En-rogel, near Jerusalem, and invited his brethren, the king's sons, and all the men of Judah, the king's servants. But Nathan the Prophet, and his brother Solomon were not invited." At this festival board they shouted aloud, "God save king Adonijah!" (1 Kings i. 5—9.) From the feeling displayed on the occasion, both he and his partizans felt certain of realising their most ardent desire. But as the falling of a small stone will disturb the smoothness of water, the mere absence of his brother Solomon, and that of N athan the prophet, soon disorganised their whole arrangements. On the news of the revolt reaching the capital, Nathan, the servant of the Most High, repaired to Bathsheba, the mother of Solomon, and said "Hast thou not heard that Adonijah, the son of Haggith, doth reign, and David our lord knoweth it not? Let me, I pray theo, give thee counsel, that thou mayest save thy own life, and the life of thy son Solomon." Nathan had no reason to doubt but that the purposes of God would be accomplished in the reign of Solomon, nor could he be unacquainted with the positive command, "touch not mine anointed." The information had been brought to Nathan by some of the followers of Adonijah, or he was made acquainted with the event by the divine Spirit, to prevent calamity. In discharge of his sacred duty, he says to Bathsheba, "Go, and get thee unto king David, and say unto him, Didst not thou, my lord, O king, swear unto thy handmaid, saying, 'Assuredly Solomon thy son shall reign after me, and he shall sit upon my throne?' why then doth Adonijah reign?" It may not be improper here to remark, that independently of the Divine influence that guided David in the choice of Solomon to be his successor, all Eastern monarchs inherit a right, contrary to modern usages in Europe, to name their successor; hence the vested right of David to appoint Solomon, in preference to his other sons, to succeed him in the government of Israel. Nathan further added, " While thou yet talkest with the king, I also will come after thee and confirm thy words."
What a strong contrast is here observable between the conduct of Abiathar the priest, and that of Nathan the prophet! The former was intent on honour and emolument, while the latter was anxious for God's honour and the prosperity of Israel.
Bathsheba, we are informed by the sacred historian, followed Nathan's advice, and "went in unto the king into the chamber, the king being very old, and bowed, and did obeisance unto the king." When the king asked, "What wouldest thou, Bathsheba? She said unto him, My lord, thou swarest by the Lord thy God unto thine