As David grew older, many wondered who would take his place when he died. Chapter 1 of 1 Kings tells about one of David’s sons, Adonijah (younger brother of Absalom), who wanted very much to be the next king. He had the support of Joab, David’s military leader, and Abiathar, the priest. But David had promised Solomon (Bathsheba’s son) that he would be the next king. The prophet Nathan, along with Bathsheba, reminded David of this and encouraged him to publicly declare Solomon as the next king of Israel. It is of special note that David had Solomon ride on his mule as a sign to the people that he was David’s successor.When Adonijah found out about the public anointing of Solomon, he was afraid Solomon might kill him. Solomon promised Adonijah, however, that he would not hurt him. In 1 Kings 2
, Adonijah tried again to become king by seeking to marry one of David’s wives after he died. For this act of treason, he was put to death.The account of David’s death is also in 1 Kings 2
. Before David died, he gave Solomon instructions, including directions to punish Joab for the innocent lives he took and Abiathar for supporting Adonijah as king.
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