The King of Peace Inaugurated

I KINGS 1:32-40,50-53
“Know thou the God of thy father, and serve him with a perfect heart and with a willing mind.” —I Chronicles 28:9

SOLOMON’S NAME SIGNIFIES ‘Peaceful’, and Nathan the prophet, who was his tutor, called him Jedidiah, which means, ‘Beloved of Jehovah’. Apparently he inherited certain natural traits which were much to his advantage, and special divine blessing properly gave him the title, ‘The Wise Man’.

It was said of him that his parental inheritance was remarkably strong. When he was born, his father, David, was in the maturity of his life; his mother was the granddaughter of Prince Ahithophel, who was reputed to give advice ‘as if a man had inquired at the oracle of God’. Thus he inherited from his mother sagacity, quickness of judgment, and judicial insight, and from his father thoughtfulness, literary taste, the skill of ruling, and an interest in religion.


Solomon was about twenty years of age when his reign began. His father, King David, was old and quite feeble when it became clear that a successor to the throne must be selected soon. David’s eldest son, Amnon was slain by his brother Absalom, who was next in line; and Absalom, in turn, was put to death in an unsuccessful rebellion against David when he tried to usurp the throne. The heir apparent appeared to be Adonijah, but David had shown favor toward Solomon as his successor. Because of David’s rapidly developing senility, Adonijah plotted to thwart the succession of Solomon by seizing the kingdom on the pretext that his father was now too old to administer its affairs, and he was the eldest living son.

Adonijah thought the time was ripe for action and he invited his adherents with all of the king’s sons, except Solomon, to a great banquet in the royal garden. Amid the mirth of the festival, the cry was raised, “God save King Adonijah!” (I Kings 1:25) Joab, King David’s able general, now advanced in years, and Abiathar, the High Priest, were present and supported Adonijah’s claim to the throne. Here was a second conspiracy that came to fruition in David’s family.


While all of this was proceeding, Nathan the prophet informed Bath-sheba, the mother of Solomon, that Adonijah had proclaimed his reign over the kingdom. She was advised by Nathan to report this to King David, and that Nathan would come later to confirm it. Bath-sheba went immediately to King David and reminded him of his promise to have Solomon succeed him as king, and told him of the action taken by Adonijah. Nathan followed and confirmed all that was told David by Bath-sheba.

David was prompted into action and called for Zadok, another High Priest, Benaiah, another general, and Nathan the prophet, and instructed them to carry out the anointing of Solomon as king. He sent them with his son, Solomon, to the valley outside the city gate, near the very place where Jesus was later to ride on an ass in his triumphal entry into Jerusalem. Solomon was directed to ride on King David’s own white mule, an act which would of itself proclaim him David’s appointed successor. With this special envoy went the two companies of the king’s special bodyguard, the Cherethites and the Pelethites. Presently the anointing was performed, the trumpet was blown announcing Solomon king, and the people unanimously confirmed this with great shouts and rejoicing. Thus was Solomon brought in state to the palace where he reigned jointly with his father, David, for some six months until the death of the latter.


The trumpets of Solomon’s coronation were heard in the royal gardens where Adonijah was celebrating his position as the new king. As they were wondering about the meaning of the proceedings in the city, Jonathan, son of the High Priest, came to tell them that David had made Solomon king. (I Kings 1:41-48) Then all were afraid, “and rose up, and went every man his way.” (vs. 49) Adonijah was the most fearful, and fled to the Tabernacle and laid hold on the horns of the altar for clemency. Any criminal could claim such clemency by such a procedure if the crime was accidental.

He refused to leave the Tabernacle until assured by Solomon that he would suffer no harm for the rebellion he had almost inaugurated. Solomon’s words to him, as well as his conduct, were wise and kind: “If he will show himself a worthy man, there shall not an hair of him fall to the earth: but if wickedness shall be found in him, he shall die.” (vs. 52) When he presented himself before Solomon, his father said to him, “Go to thine house.” (vs. 53) In other words, no punishment of any kind was to be inflicted for the past; and, as for the future, he was on his good behavior.

Generosity is always a good sign wherever it is displayed, and in the children of the heavenly kingdom it is an indispensable quality. As our Master said, “I say unto you, love your enemies … that ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven: for he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust.”—Matt. 5:44,45


There are many important lessons in these events involving Solomon’s inauguration. One is that the kingdom of Israel was the special institution of the Lord, different from other kingdoms. As the Scriptures say, it was God’s kingdom: “Solomon sat on the throne of the Lord as king instead of David his father.” (I Chron. 29:23) If Absalom and Adonijah had realized that they were interfering with the divine arrangement, they may not have been so quick to rebel. The kingdom of the Lord is sure to prevail, even though conspiracies against it are formulated. So, too, the most active of all conspirators, the Adversary, has seized control of the kingdom on earth, and appears to be in complete control—but this is only by God’s permission.

The apparent near success of conspirators such as Absalom and Adonijah against King David and Solomon as successor to David, foreshadowed such conspiracies as those of the High Priests, scribes, and Judas against Jesus. These were only short-lived, and God’s plan for his Son to be king in all the earth will be manifest in due time. The Father has assured us through his Word that this will be brought to pass. “So shall my word be that goeth forth out of my mouth: it shall not return unto me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it.”—Isa. 55:11


The preparation of Solomon to be a king has important lessons for us. Solomon was born when his father was in his 53rd year, and at a time, doubtless, when he had learned from experience that he had been too indulgent to the remainder of his family. David had not brought them up with sufficient strictness. He had not realized sufficiently the need of training them in the nurture and admonition of the Lord.

Great affairs of state had claimed his attention, and his children had been left too much to the care of others not so reverential as the king. David was religious from his youth, and he seems to have supposed that his children would possess similar qualities of heart and mind. Evidently he had not sufficiently realized the demoralizing influence of wealth and earthly honors, or how these do not make for godliness but, to the contrary, cultivate pride, worldliness, godlessness.

It was because of David’s increasing reverence for the Lord, and his realization of the mistakes made in the training of his other children, that he desired his successor to the throne to honor the Lord. This led the king to put his son, Solomon, under the special care of the Prophet Nathan for his preparation to serve the Lord and his kingdom righteously. Also, he was to build the Temple of the Lord, which David had purposed to build but was not allowed. The Prophet Nathan knew of the Temple project, and of God’s promise that it should be built by David’s heir, and that Solomon was the chosen of the Lord and of the king. We can imagine the prophet’s faithfulness in the training of Prince Solomon for the duties of the position he was intended to fill.


Our Father is the Great King, and he has promised that Christ shall sit upon his throne. We have been invited to become part of the Christ, the Anointed, the Messiah. We should not wonder that we need training for this important position. We should not be surprised if disciplines are imposed and requirements made of us more than are imposed upon those not intended for this high position. Surely the arrangements of our Father, the Great King, are wise and righteous altogether. Therefore, those who are in full sympathy and accord with him will be anxious to learn the lessons and to make the preparations necessary for the kingdom honors.

These must not wonder if they are excluded from the companionship and feasting of the Absalom and Adonijah types. They may be disesteemed by their ambitious brethren, and may be evil spoken of, but if they have the divine favor, theirs shall be not only the anointing, but also the acceptance to the throne. As Jesus said, “Your deliverance is drawing near.” (Luke 21:28, Wilson’s Emphatic Diaglott) And the Apostle Peter said, “Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, that he may exalt you in due time.”—I Pet. 5:6


Our theme text says, “Know thou the God of thy father, and serve him with a perfect heart and with a willing mind.” (I Chron. 28:9) There is a golden sentiment expressed in these words. Outward service is not sufficient in our dealing with the Lord. He seeketh such to worship, as worship him “in spirit and in truth.” (John 4:23,24) Solomon’s excellent start in his high office and the favor of God which then came upon him, had been preceded by years of study. Under the prophet’s direction, and under his father’s suggestions, he was enabled to enter into the spirit of his father’s plan respecting the erection of the great Temple at Jerusalem. This Temple put religion—the true religion and worship of God—in the most prominent position before the nation of Israel.

He had inherited the spirit of his father, David, who desired that the whole nation of Israel would put God and his worship in advance of every other thing and interest. He was informed respecting the stores of material and wealth gathered by his father for the Temple purposes, which had been consecrated to that service. In these things Solomon found abundant opportunity for the exercise of his intelligence and his ambitions along proper and helpful lines, which drew him nearer to the Lord and taught him how better to serve the Lord and his people, Israel, as his father’s successor.

So we, too, as we seek the Lord with all our hearts as ‘dear children’ and with willing minds, are privileged to know God’s great plans and purposes respecting the future. He makes known to us his purpose to have a Temple, and the preparations already made. We learn how and when it will be built and about its objective, which is the blessing of all the families of the earth. At each step of the way, as we learn more about God’s plan of the ages, we are developed more and more, and prepared for our part in that Temple and kingdom.


All those who would have interfered with Solomon being made king were punished. Adonijah was not content to live out his life in a minor role. After the death of David, his father, he covertly endeavored to reintroduce his claim to the throne through a marriage with Abishag, the virgin queen of his father. Solomon, however, saw through his design, and for this scheming he was put to death.—I Kings 2:13-25

Abiathar, the priest, who had followed Adonijah, was banished to Natoth and removed from his office. One might wonder how it happened that there were two High Priests in Israel at the same time—Abiathar and Zadok. Abiathar was descended through Eli and Ahimelech from Ithamar, the younger brother of Eleazer. Eleazer became High Priest after Aaron. God had pronounced a severe judgment against Eli’s house because of the wickedness of Eli’s sons.

Saul had all of Eli’s house slain, but Abiathar escaped and attached himself to David’s band of refugees fleeing from Saul. When David became king, he made Abiathar High Priest. When David became king over all of Israel, Zadok already was High Priest over Israel, having been appointed by Saul. David did not remove him from office. Zadok was descended from Eleazer. How and why the priesthood shifted to Ithamar’s lineage from Eleazer’s line is not known. With Zadok, the lineage of the priesthood was back to where it belonged.

Joab, David’s faithful general during his long pursuit by Saul, had disobeyed David’s commands and had also sided with Adonijah. For his indiscretion and disloyalty, he was put to death.

In these events, we see pictured how all of our Lord’s enemies are to be destroyed, “for he must reign, till he hath put all enemies under this feet. The last enemy that shall be destroyed is death.” (I Cor. 15:25,26) Ultimately, all the wicked will be destroyed. First, all mankind will have ample opportunity to reform and walk up the highway of holiness to perfecton. But those who “will not hear that prophet, shall be destroyed from among the people.” (Acts 3:23) In that kingdom, none “shall hurt nor destroy.” (Isa. 11:9) Peace will be the dominant feature of that kingdom. This is why Solomon’s reign prefigured the peace and tranquility of Christ’s kingdom, which kingdom will truly be a kingdom of peace.

Dawn Bible Students Association
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