1. King David was now a very old man, and though wrapped in bedclothes he could not keep warm.
2. So his servants said to him, 'Let us find a young girl for my lord the king, to wait on the king and look after him; she will lie close beside you and this will keep my lord the king warm.'
3. Having searched for a beautiful girl throughout the territory of Israel, they found Abishag of Shunem and brought her to the king.
4. The girl was very beautiful. She looked after the king and waited on him but the king did not have intercourse with her.
5. Now Adonijah son of Haggith was growing pretentious and saying, 'I shall be king!' Accordingly, he procured a chariot and team with fifty guards to run ahead of him.
6. Never once in his life had his father crossed him by saying, 'Why are you behaving like that?' He was very handsome too; his mother had given birth to him after Absalom.
7. He conferred with Joab son of Zeruiah and with the priest Abiathar, who both rallied to Adonijah's cause;
8. but neither Zadok the priest, nor Benaiah son of Jehoiada, nor the prophet Nathan, nor Shimei and Rei, nor David's champions, supported Adonijah.
9. One day when Adonijah was sacrificing sheep, oxen and fattened calves at the Sliding Stone which is beside the Fuller's Spring, he invited all his brothers, the royal princes, and all the men of Judah in the king's service;
10. but he did not invite the prophet Nathan, or Benaiah, or the champions, or his brother Solomon.
11. Nathan then said to Bathsheba, Solomon's mother, 'Have you not heard that, unknown to our lord David, Adonijah son of Haggith has become king?
12. Well, this is my advice to you if you want to save your own life and the life of your son Solomon.
13. Go straight in to King David and say, "My lord king, did you not make your servant this promise on oath: Your son Solomon is to be king after me; he is the one who is to sit on my throne? How is it, then, that Adonijah is king?"
14. And while you are still there talking to the king, I shall come in after you and confirm what you say.'
15. So Bathsheba went to the king in his room (he was very old and Abishag of Shunem was in attendance on him).
16. She knelt, prostrated herself before the king, and the king said, 'What do you want?'
17. 'My lord,' she replied, 'you swore to your servant by Yahweh your God, "Your son Solomon is to be king after me; he is the one who is to sit on my throne."
18. And now here is Adonijah king, and you, my lord king, knowing nothing about it!
19. He has sacrificed quantities of oxen, fattened calves and sheep, and invited all the royal princes, the priest Abiathar, and Joab the army commander; but he has not invited your servant Solomon.
20. Yet you are the man, my lord king, to whom all Israel looks, to tell them who is to succeed my lord the king.
21. And when my lord the king falls asleep with his ancestors, Solomon and I shall be made to suffer for this.'
22. She was still speaking to the king when the prophet Nathan came in.
23. The king was told, 'The prophet Nathan is here'; and he came into the king's presence and prostrated himself on his face before the king.
24. 'My lord king,' said Nathan, 'is this, then, your decree, "Adonijah is to be king after me; he is the one who is to sit on my throne"?
25. For he has gone down today and sacrificed quantities of oxen, fattened calves and sheep, and invited all the royal princes, the army commanders, and the priest Abiathar; and they are there now, eating and drinking in his presence and shouting, "Long live King Adonijah!"
26. He has not, however, invited me your servant, Zadok the priest, Benaiah son of Jehoiada, or your servant Solomon.
27. Can it be that this is done with my lord the king's approval and that you have not told those loyal to you who is to succeed to the throne of my lord the king?'
28. King David then spoke. 'Call Bathsheba to me,' he said. And she came into the king's presence and stood before him.
29. Then the king swore this oath, 'As Yahweh lives, who has delivered me from all adversity,
30. just as I swore to you by Yahweh, God of Israel, that your son Solomon should be king after me and take my place on my throne, so I shall bring it about this very day.'
31. Bathsheba knelt down, prostrated herself on her face before the king and said, 'May my lord King David live for ever!'
32. Then King David said, 'Summon Zadok the priest, the prophet Nathan and Benaiah son of Jehoiada.' So they came into the king's presence.
33. 'Take the royal guard with you,' said the king, 'mount my son Solomon on my own mule and escort him down to Gihon.
34. There Zadok the priest and the prophet Nathan are to anoint him king of Israel; then sound the trumpet and shout, "Long live King Solomon!"
35. Then you are to escort him back, and he is then to assume my throne and be king in place of me, for he is the man whom I have appointed as ruler of Israel and of Judah.'
36. Benaiah son of Jehoiada answered the king. 'Amen!' he said. 'And may Yahweh, God of my lord the king, confirm it!
37. As Yahweh has been with my lord the king, so may he be with Solomon and make his throne even greater than the throne of my lord King David!'
38. Zadok the priest, the prophet Nathan, Benaiah son of Jehoiada, and the Cherethites and Pelethites then went down; they mounted Solomon on King David's mule and escorted him to Gihon.
39. Zadok the priest took the horn of oil from the Tent and anointed Solomon. They sounded the trumpet and all the people shouted, 'Long live King Solomon!'
40. The people all escorted him back, with pipes playing and loud rejoicing and shouts to split the earth.
41. Adonijah and his guests, who had by then finished their meal, all heard the noise. Joab too heard the sound of the trumpet and said, 'What is that noise of uproar in the city?'
42. While he was still speaking, Jonathan son of Abiathar the priest arrived. 'Come in,' Adonijah said, 'you are an honest man, so you must be bringing good news.'
43. 'The truth is,' Jonathan answered, 'our lord King David has made Solomon king.
44. With him, the king sent Zadok the priest, the prophet Nathan, Benaiah son of Jehoiada and the Cherethites and Pelethites; they mounted him on the king's mule,
45. and Zadok the priest and the prophet Nathan have anointed him king at Gihon; and they have gone back again with shouts of joy and the city is now in an uproar; that was the noise you heard.
46. What is more, Solomon is seated on the royal throne.
47. And further, the king's officers have been to congratulate our lord King David with the words, "May your God make the name of Solomon more glorious than yours, and his throne more exalted than your own!" And the king bowed down on his bed,
48. and then said, "Blessed be Yahweh, God of Israel, for setting one of my own sons on the throne while I am still alive to see it!" '
49. At this, all Adonijah's guests, taking fright, got up and made off in their several directions.
50. Adonijah, in terror of Solomon, got up and ran off to cling to the horns of the altar.
51. Solomon was told, 'You should know that Adonijah is terrified of King Solomon and is now clinging to the horns of the altar, saying, "Let King Solomon first swear to me that he will not have his servant executed." '
52. 'Should he bear himself honourably,' Solomon answered, 'not one hair of his shall fall to the ground; but if he proves difficult, he shall die.'
53. King Solomon then sent for him to be brought down from the altar; he came and threw himself prostrate before King Solomon; Solomon said to him, 'Go to your house.'