In this study I will be primarily referring to I Kings chapter 1 and will be discussing the first coronation of Solomon. I Chronicles 29:22 indicates that there was a second coronation which we will discuss at a later chapter.
In the first coronation of Solomon there is the story of Adonijah and his reach for the throne. Apparently Adonijah, was not willing to accept that the Lord Jesus had called for Solomon to be king and apparently since David had never told him no, Adonijah was ready to try for a political coup of the throne. As Solomon’s elder brother it appears that he had a similar perspective as did Ishmael and Esau, he wanted the throne but not necessarily the spiritual leadership role that was inherent in the birthright.
Adonijah apparently was fairly skillful at political intrigue and had been able to talk Joab, the general of the army, into joining his party and Abiathar the priest as well. Adonijah must have sensed that David was getting weak and he decided to risk his all on a shot at the kingdom and maybe David would be too old and too weak to interfere this last time with his son. Adonijah went to Enrollee, a spot near Jerusalem, to gather the people to his ensign.
The Bible says that Adonijah did not invite Zadok the priest to his party, or Nathan the prophet, nor Benaiah the leader of David’s mighty men, nor Shimei, nor Rei, nor the mighty men. So apparently Adonijah knew that his political hold was weak and if the above men were to hear about his efforts would try to stop him. His assessment was correct, for Nathan did report this immediately to Bathsheba, the mother of Solomon, and made arrangements to present his concerns to King David. Nathan knew if he was unable to get David to commit to a position Solomon and Bathsheba would die. I Kings 1:11-12,21.
Nathan set up a system whereby Bathsheba would come to David and ask if he knew that Adonijah was going to be king and if he had arranged it as such. While talking Nathan would come in and reinforce the idea and get a decision from King David. The plan worked out well and David was able to see the plot for what it was and made arrangements to have Solomon anointed at Gihon by Zadok the priest and Nathan the prophet. Then Solomon would ride David’s mule into the city and be officially accepted by David and pronounced king of Israel. Benaiah the captain of the mighty men, and the Cherethites and Pelethites also went with Solomon to the anointing.
When the people saw this activity and understood who was siding with Solomon they rejoiced with such great joy that the earth rent with the sound of them. I Kings 1:40 When Adonijah heard this sound his party was in great confusion. They received information from Jonathan the son of Abiathar the priest and informed them that David had had Solomon anointed and that David had bowed down to Solomon as the new king. When Adonijah heard this he knew that his attempt at being a king had been turned down by David and he fled to the altar and held on to the horns of it as a place of refuge. Exodus 21:14 Solomon, now king and judge, graciously extends mercy to Adonijah and sends him to his house, in peace.
What an irony for Adonijah that he had held the Word of the Lord in contempt by not accepting God’s choice of Solomon as king. But when in danger for his life he chose to flee to the altar of the Lord to be granted refuge. Adonijah hoped that his brother Solomon would act as a Christian and extend mercy to him and not judge him and have him killed. Solomon did all of the above and did grant him mercy. As we will find out that mercy extended forever, or as long, as Adonijah did not try to overthrow Solomon again. For Solomon was both king and judge of Israel and would have to make many difficult decisions as the king of God’s people.
Again we see the impact of the gospel on the decision making of King Solomon. He was able to wait upon Jesus, trust in His care, and when faced with his first decision as king he was able and willing to extend mercy to his mortal enemy. In all of these things Solomon was able to act like his son – Jesus – the Son of David, would act. At this time Solomon was willing to walk in the ways of Jesus and in all things reflect the character of his Lord and Master. At this time Solomon was a model man and worthy to be followed in his walk with Jesus. I Corinthians 11:1 We will learn many more things in our study of Solomon – the Beloved of the Lord.