Vered Hollander-Goldfarb

About Vered Hollander-Goldfarb

Vered Hollander-Goldfarb received her M.A. in Judaic Studies and Tanach from the Bernard Revel Graduate School of Yeshiva University and studied at Bar-Ilan University and the Jewish Theological Seminary. Before making aliyah, she taught at Ramaz School and Stern College in New York. She teaches Tanach and Medieval Commentators.

Vered Hollander-Goldfarb

Wise King And Orderly Kingdom – Temples And Temptation

Class 3:  Wise King, Orderly Kingdom



Chapter 3 gives us some insight into the early stages of Solomon’s rule as an established king. It contains 3 motifs that will characterize Solomon’s reign:  Foreign relations, relations with God, and the welfare of his own people.  Let’s take a look:

Foreign Relations 3:1

Why not describe this as marriage/love/family?

Read the verse carefully.  Whom is the marriage with?  What is the role of Pharaoh’s daughter? (Do we know her name?!) Historians have doubted the accuracy of this account, since Pharaohs were not known for allowing their daughters to marry foreign kings.  However, the Tanakh has proven correct on other doubted historic accounts, so until proven conclusively otherwise, we can continue reading the story at face value.  The great importance and effort on behalf of this woman underscores that indeed this alliance was very significant.  We will discuss it further in a later class.

Loving God 3:3

The root א,ה,ב (which is usually translated as “love”) appears in Tanakh both for our relationship with people and with God.  In relation to God, this might be better translated as devotion an faithfulness.  When this root is defining a relationship with a person the translation may be “infatuation,” which might explain why sometimes trouble crops up.  This is not the last time this root is used for Solomon.  Keep your eyes open.

The Dream at Gibeon 3:4-15

Here comes the next chapter of our fairytale:  The king who is granted a wish, and chooses the right thing.  Because of his wise choice, he is granted all the other things that a king might wish for; almost all other things.

Let’s look at 3:11-14 (available here or in PDF)  Comparing v.11 with vv. 13-14, notice what God says that Solomon did NOT ask for, but will receive because he did not ask for it:

Of his non-wish list, what will he not receive?

Try to think of reasons why this wish, which was a logical wish for a king, was not granted to Solomon.  What might be the ramification of the lack of this gift?

Of that list, what will he receive conditionally?

When will we find out if this conditional gift was granted?

The Trial 3:16-28

Perhaps the most famous story of Solomon.  It requires careful reading to try to come to some answers.

  • Why does this story appear here?
  • Take a look at Solomon’s request in his dream.  Did God keep His word?
  • Listen to the speech of both women.  What does it teach you about them?
  • What might be their socio-economic background?  How well do they know how to present their arguments before the court/king?
  • Which woman do you believe based on 3:17-21?  Why?
  • Do you think that Solomon had a clue as to who is the mother before his ‘half-a –child’ test?
  • Notice that he repeats their arguments.  Does he change or clarify anything?
  • Imagine that you were watching the event: What body language accompanies the words?
  • Under the veneer of proper court order, hide tempers and very strong emotions.  There is gesturing, pointing, shoulder shrugging etc.  Imagine that you were staging this episode, what instructions would you give the characters  about their body language?

Administration 4:1-5:8

Dedicating not-so-little space to the administrative issues of the Solomonic kingdom tells us something about the impression it left on people.  It would seem that for the first time there is an established kingdom with an extensive tax collection system.

Take a look at the list of tax collectors.  What details can you glean from the list and what might it tell us?

Some of these people seem to be well off; some are even connected by marriage to the royal family. It is also worth noting that the tribes do not seem to play a major role in the division of the regions.  Are we seeing some cracks in the tribal system now that there is a central government?

In addition to the taxes collected from the local population, taxes and gifts were also delivered by near-by nations that had been conquered by David.  In chapters 9-10 we discover that foreign trade also added significantly to the treasury.

To give us an idea of why such riches were needed, the author gives us an interesting account in 5:1-8:  What it cost to run the palace and the army.  While we could do the mathematical calculations as to the probable size of the measurements listed, what matters is what it meant to the people.  How is the cost of running the kingdom (and the palace) viewed by the narrator?

Finally, what was the reaction of the people to this tremendous administration with its efficient tax collection?

The book tells us that “all of Judah and Israel are as many as the sand by the sea, eating and drinking and merry.” (4:20) They must have been the only people in human history to view taxes favorably….

Why did the people agree to the costs of such a large state mechanism?

The answer may be found in 5:5.  The peace in the land was what people had craved since the idea of having a king came up in the days of Samuel the prophet.  Finally there was a period of order and without threats.  People are apparently willing to pay dearly for peace of mind and blessed routine.

Modern Commentary

Commentary comes in many forms.  Mark Twain placed his thoughts about King Solomon and his life style in the mouth of Jim, the run-away slave.

View the excerpt here or download the here.

Summary Video

Go to Next Class – It’s a Big World

It’s A Big World – Temples And Temptation

Class 4: It’s a Big World After All…


Solomon’s kingdom began as a small empire.  David, Solomon’s father, had gained control over most areas surrounding his kingdom.  How did Solomon handle other nations, near and far?  How did he influence the world around him, and what influences seep into his kingdom?

To get a better understanding of the area that we are studying, here is a link to a map of the region:

Foreign Marriages 3:1

Marriages were a common form of solidifying treaties and relations between nations (not only in ancient Israel.  Take a look at most of Europe’s monarchies.) It was an essential part of Solomon’s policy from the start.  As a matter of fact, the very beginning of the description of his acts as a monarch (after his “clean up”) opens with a marriage:

Why not describe this (3:1) as marriage/love/family?

Read the verse carefully.  Whom is the marriage with?  What is the role of Pharaoh’s daughter? (Do we know her name?!) Some historians have doubted the accuracy of this account, since Pharaohs were not known for allowing their daughters to marry foreign kings.  However, the Tanakh has proven correct on other doubted historic accounts, so until proven conclusively otherwise, this is the story we have.  The great importance attributed to this event and the effort on behalf of this woman underscores that indeed this alliance was very significant.  We will discuss it further in a later class.

What was the cost (not necessarily in a tangible currency) of an alliance of this nature?

Pharaoh’s daughter was not the only foreign woman in Solomon’s harem.  About the others we will learn in chapter 11.  (Why did the narrator not including them in the opening chapters of Solomon’s story?!)

Good Business Ties 5:15-25

Shared economic interests were another popular way to guarantee good relations with those around.  Of great significance to Solomon were his relations with Hiram, king of Tyre.  We first hear about this contact in 5:15.

What was the message that Hiram the king of Tyre sent to Solomon? We are not told what the content of the message was, but we can probably guess based on the verse.

What was his incentive?

  • Hiram has good reason to be interested in maintaining the same good relations that he enjoyed with David, and so he was quick to dispatch a congratulatory mission.  In II Samuel 5:11 we were told that Hiram provided David with the cedars to build his house.  He fully understands the business potential in good relations with Solomon.  (Maybe he will finally build that Temple that his father David wanted to build?)

Solomon responds with a request for building material for a temple.  In what narrative does he couch his request?

  • Note the central role that David plays here.  Solomon certainly knows when to remind his ally about their good shared history.  Why did David not build the temple?  II Sam 7:1-16 has a somewhat different story than that which Solomon tells Hiram.

Why does he not give the story that appears in II Samuel?

How much is Solomon willing to pay for the building supplies from Lebanon? (5:20, 24-25)

  • Unlike some real Middle Eastern bargaining (such as is found in Gen. 23,) Solomon does not seem to negotiate about the price.  Why?

Finally, here is an opportunity to learn something about the transport routes in the region.  How did the cedars get from the mountains of Lebanon to hilly Jerusalem? (5:23)


This is a short section that tells us a great deal about the trade routes of the region.  Solomon did what many others have also done:  He utilized the port in Eilat, out to the Red Sea, to capitalize on the trade with the Horn of Africa (and possibly farther.)

Why is Hiram a significant partner in this enterprise?

  • The people living on the Lebanese coast (in places such as Tyre) were Canaanites.  We are familiar with them as Phoenicians.  They were sea faring people, building over time trade posts along the Mediterranean Sea.  (You may remember the Phoenician Cartha, from where Hannibal came.  “Hannibal” is a classic Canaanite name with the theophoric ending ‘baal’ – the Canaanite god.) The collaboration of Solomon’s access to Africa (which the Phoenicians did not have) and Hiram’s sea faring knowledge,  proved very profitable.

Wisdom: An International Discipline

Wisdom literature is often focused on human existence, not on religion.  The book of Ecclesiastics does not contain God’s name (only the generic ‘Elohim’), and this is not by chance.  The concern of the wisdom genre is frequently advice as to how a person should live; it is not a delivery of the divine word through a prophet, nor demands on how one is to follow one’s God.  It is not surprising, therefore, that the study of wisdom crossed national/religious borders and became an international discipline.

Based on the description in 4:9-14, how did Solomon’s wisdom seem to manifest itself?

  • Note that “wisdom” here does not seem to measure the value of advice given by Solomon but rather compositions of various types.  In his dream (see last class) Solomon did not ask for “wisdom,” rather he requested to be granted a ‘hearing heart to judge your people, to discern between good and evil.’  The term ‘a wise heart’ is introduced by God.

Proverbs, The Song of Songs and Ecclesiastics are all attributed to Solomon.  Based on what the Tanakh tells us in chapter 4 about his wisdom, could that be so?

It all comes together:  The Queen of Sheba 10:1-13

This story seems to sum up nicely the nature of Solomon’s international fame.  He traded in both luxury and wisdom with the world.  (In today’s terms we might say that his kingdom made up in human capital for what it lacked in natural resources.) The queen of a kingdom at the bottom of the Arabian Peninsula came to Jerusalem for a visit.  What brought her?  What did she want? What did she get?  This story has lent itself to an endless amount of imaginative stories and other forms of interpretations.

Read the story and think about the following questions:

The story is somewhat vague about the exact purpose of the queen’s visit.  Why do you think she came?

What does she seem to mean when she praises Solomon’s wisdom?  Is it closer to the wisdom refered to in the dream or to the description in chapter 4?

“And King Solomon gave the Queen of Sheba all her want that she asked for, besides what he gave her as befitted King Solomon.” (10:13.) What do you think that she asked for, and what other things (?) might Solomon have given her?

Video Summary

Go to Next Class – Building The Temple

Text I Kings 3, 11, 14 – Temples And Temptation

מלכים א’ פרק ג      I Kings Chapter 3


יא וַיֹּאמֶר אֱלֹהִים אֵלָיו יַעַן אֲשֶׁר שָׁאַלְתָּ אֶת-הַדָּבָר הַזֶּה

            וְלֹא-שָׁאַלְתָּ לְּךָ יָמִים רַבִּים

            וְלֹא-שָׁאַלְתָּ לְּךָ עֹשֶׁר

            וְלֹא שָׁאַלְתָּ נֶפֶשׁ אֹיְבֶיךָ

                         וְשָׁאַלְתָּ לְּךָ הָבִין לִשְׁמֹעַ מִשְׁפָּט.

יב הִנֵּה עָשִׂיתִי כִּדְבָרֶיךָ

                        הִנֵּה נָתַתִּי לְךָ לֵב חָכָם וְנָבוֹן אֲשֶׁר כָּמוֹךָ לֹא-הָיָה לְפָנֶיךָ וְאַחֲרֶיךָ לֹא-יָקוּם כָּמוֹךָ.

יג וְגַם אֲשֶׁר לֹא-שָׁאַלְתָּ נָתַתִּי לָךְ:

            גַּם-עֹשֶׁר גַּם-כָּבוֹד  אֲשֶׁר לֹא-הָיָה כָמוֹךָ אִישׁ בַּמְּלָכִים כָּל-יָמֶיךָ.

יד וְאִם תֵּלֵךְ בִּדְרָכַי לִשְׁמֹר חֻקַּי וּמִצְו‍ֹתַי כַּאֲשֶׁר הָלַךְ דָּוִיד אָבִיךָ וְהַאֲרַכְתִּי אֶת-יָמֶיךָ.

11 And God said to him: ‘Because you asked this thing,

and did not ask for yourself a long life;

and did not ask for yourself riches,

and did not ask the life of your enemies;

                        rather you asked for yourself understanding to discern justice;

12 Therefore, I have done according to your word:

Lo, I have given you a wise and an understanding heart; there has been none like you before you, nor after you shall any arise like you.

13 And I have also given you that which you did not ask:

 both riches and honour–so that there has not been any among the kings like you–all your days.

14 And if you will walk in My ways, to keep My statutes and My commandments, as your father David walked, then I will lengthen your days.’

Return to Wise King

Huckleberry Finn And King Solomon – Temples And Temptation

Commentary comes in many forms.  Mark Twain placed his thoughts about King Solomon and his life style in the mouth of Jim, the run-away slave. 

From: The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, Mark Twain (Chapter 14)


“I didn’ know dey was so many un um. I hain’t hearn ’bout none un um, skasely, but ole King Sollermun, onless you counts dem kings dat’s in a pack er k’yards. How much do a king git?”

“Get?” I says; “why, they get a thousand dollars a month if they want it; they can have just as much as they want; everything belongs to them.”

“AIN’ dat gay? En what dey got to do, Huck?”

“THEY don’t do nothing! Why, how you talk! They just set around.”


“Yes,” says I, “and other times, when things is dull, they fuss with the parlyment; and if everybody don’t go just so he whacks their heads off. But mostly they hang round the harem.”

“Roun’ de which?”


“What’s de harem?”

“The place where he keeps his wives. Don’t you know about the harem? Solomon had one; he had about a million wives.”

“Why, yes, dat’s so; I — I’d done forgot it. A harem’s a bo’d’n-house, I reck’n. Mos’ likely dey has rackety times in de nussery. En I reck’n de wives quarrels considable; en dat ‘crease de racket. Yit dey say Sollermun de wises’ man dat ever live’. I doan’ take no stock in dat. Bekase why: would a wise man want to live in de mids’ er sich a blim-blammin’ all de time? No — ‘deed he wouldn’t. A wise man ‘ud take en buil’ a biler-factry; en den he could shet DOWN de biler-factry when he want to res’.”

“Well, but he WAS the wisest man, anyway; because the widow she told me so, her own self.”

“I doan k’yer what de widder say, he WARN’T no wise man nuther. He had some er de dad-fetchedes’ ways I ever see. Does you know ’bout dat chile dat he ‘uz gwyne to chop in two?”

“Yes, the widow told me all about it.”

“WELL, den! Warn’ dat de beatenes’ notion in de worl’? You jes’ take en look at it a minute. Dah’s de stump, dah — dat’s one er de women; heah’s you — dat’s de yuther one; I’s Sollermun; en dish yer dollar bill’s de chile. Bofe un you claims it. What does I do? Does I shin aroun’ mongs’ de neighbors en fine out which un you de bill DO b’long to, en han’ it over to de right one, all safe en soun’, de way dat anybody dat had any gumption would? No; I take en whack de bill in TWO, en give half un it to you, en de yuther half to de yuther woman. Dat’s de way Sollermun was gwyne to do wid de chile. Now I want to ast you: what’s de use er dat half a bill? —
can’t buy noth’n wid it. En what use is a half a chile? I wouldn’ give a dern for a million un um.”

“But hang it, Jim, you’ve clean missed the point — blame it, you’ve missed it a thousand mile.”

“Who? Me? Go ‘long. Doan’ talk to me ’bout yo’ pints. I reck’n I knows sense when I sees it; en dey ain’ no sense in sich doin’s as dat. De ‘spute warn’t ’bout a half a chile, de ‘spute was ’bout a whole chile; en de man dat think he kin settle a ‘spute ’bout a whole chile wid a half a chile doan’ know enough to come in out’n de rain. Doan’ talk to me ’bout Sollermun, Huck, I knows him by de back.”

“But I tell you you don’t get the point.”

“Blame de point! I reck’n I knows what I knows. En mine you, de REAL pint is down furder — it’s down deeper. It lays in de way Sollermun was raised. You take a man dat’s got on’y one or two chillen; is dat man gwyne to be waseful o’ chillen? No, he ain’t; he can’t ‘ford it. HE know how to value ’em. But you take a man dat’s got ’bout five million chillen runnin’ roun’ de house, en it’s diffunt. HE as soon chop a chile in two as a cat. Dey’s plenty mo’. A chile er two, mo’ er less, warn’t no onsekens to Sollermun, dad fatch him!”

What do you think?

Return to wise king

Mamma’s Little Boy – Temples And Temptation

Class 1Mamma’s Little Boy


Video Introduction

Solomon was the son of King David and Bat Sheba, but that did not guarantee him the throne.  He was not the oldest son alive, he might not even have been his mother’s oldest child.  To add to the uncertainty, it was the first time in Israelite history that the throne was to pass in an orderly fashion to – who?

Stop and think:  Who were the possible heirs to the throne?

Here are a few suggestions:

  • The oldest son
  • Any son (how would he be chosen?)
  • A daughter
  • An extension of the daughter in a male dominated society -– a son in law

Note that according to the last option (which was probably practiced in some places), David had a claim to Saul’s throne.  Indeed, as part of the unification of Judah with the supporters of Saul, David demands to get back his wife Michal, the daughter of Saul.  What would be the advantage of a son-in-law as an heir to the throne?

A Brief Background

David had sexual relations with Bat Sheva, Solomon’s mother, while she was still married to Uriah, one of his top officers.  This complicated story (found in II Sam 11-12) ended with the death of Uriah on David’s orders, a severe reprimand by Nathan the prophet, and the death of their illegitimate child.  Later, after they were married, other children were born, including Solomon, whom God called Yedidya; ‘beloved of God.’

Some of David’s older sons (and what happened to them):

Amnon son of Ahinoam, David’s oldest son, raped his half sister Tamar.  David fails to take action against Amnon. (II Sam 13)

Absalom son of Ma’acah, Tamar’’s full brother, took revenge and killed Amnon for the rape. He then fled to his maternal grandfather outside the country.

After a few years Absalom is welcomed back to Jerusalem, only to start a rebellion against his father David.  The rebellion ends with the death of Absalom by Yoab, David’s loyal army chief.  It exposed again the cracks in the united kingdom, as the supporters of Saul saw this as an opportunity to get rid of David.

This brings us to the beginning of I Kings 1.

Please read I Kings 1:1-31.

Adonijah son of Hagit rebels against his father David and crowns himself king.  Why did he not wait for David to die (which seems to be an imminent event)?

There is no answer given in the text.  What is your opinion?

Note who sides with Adonijah.  What reason might these people have (it could be individual reasons) for supporting Adonia and, in effect, supporting a rebellion against David to whom they have been loyal until now?

Again, a lot here is up to your ideas.  Let’s open this in the forum.  Please contribute whatever knowledge you have regarding Joab and Abiathar the Kohen.

In a somewhat unusual step, the Tanakh actually offers an explanation for the rebellion of Adonijah.  No, it does not answer what his motive was, but it is a rare pedagogic comment.  After reading it, check out the following medieval commentators:

רש”י מלכים א פרק א Rashi I Kings 1:6

(ו) ולא עצבו – לא הכעיסו. למדך שהמונע תוכחה מבנו מביאו לידי מיתה:

And he did not upset him – he did not anger him.  [This] teaches you that he who withholds rebuke from his child brings him to death.

(RaSHI=Rabbi SHlomo Itzchaki, Northern France 1040-1105, leading commentator on Tanakh and Talmud)

רלב”ג שמואל ב פרק ח פסוק יח Ralbag II Sam 8:18

ובני דוד כהנים היו – רוצה לומר: שרים ומושלים. והנה זה הענין היה סבה להרבה מהרעות שבאו לדוד. כי אם לא היה הענין כן, לא מרד אבשלום ולא נהרג אמנון ואדניה, כמו שיראה במעט עיון. ובכלל, אם היה משגיח המלך במוסר בניו, לא קרה להם כך:

And David’s sons were Kohanim (priests) – meaning ministers and rulers. And here this is the reason for much of the evils that came upon David.  For if things would not have been so, Absalom would not have rebelled, and Amnon and Adonijah would not have been killed, as one can see by a little studying.  In general, if the king would have paid attention to his sons’ values, this would not have happened to them.

(RaLBaG=Rabbi Levi Ben Gershom, Provence, 1288-1344, scientist, mathematician and philosopher.)

Informing David

The Tanakh records the speech to David 3 times:  Nathan the prophet that approaches Bathsheba about a suggested speech, Bathsheba’s actual speech, and Nathan’s “helpful” speech. Use the chart below to compare the three.  Pay attention to some of the following points:

  • The women involved (highlighted in green):  3 women are involved here.  What are their roles, and what are the dynamics between them. (They show up two at a time.)
  •  The manner in which David is spoken about (highlighted in yellow.)  After all, he is Solomon’s father, Bathsheba’s husband, and Nathan the prophet has dealt with him for many years….
  • The similarities and differences between the words Nathan puts in Bathsheba’s mouth (1), and those that she speaks (2).  How does she have all this information?! (We can hardly expect that she was wandering around Adoniah’s inaugural feast…)
  • The tone of the speech by Bathsheba to David (2) and that of Nathan to David (3).  Which do you think was more effective?  (You can base yourself on the outcome in 1:28-31.)

 (1) נתן לבת שבע

מלכים א פרק א
(יא) וַיֹּאמֶר נָתָן אֶל בַת שֶׁבַע אֵם שְׁלֹמֹה לֵאמֹר
הֲלוֹא שָׁמַעַתְ כִּי מָלַךְ אֲדֹנִיָּהוּ בֶן חַגִּית וַאֲדֹנֵינוּ דָוִד לֹא יָדָע:
(יב) וְעַתָּה לְכִי אִיעָצֵךְ נָא עֵצָה
 וּמַלְּטִי אֶת נַפְשֵׁךְ וְאֶת נֶפֶשׁ בְּנֵךְ שְׁלֹמֹה:
(יג) לְכִי וּבֹאִי אֶל הַמֶּלֶךְ דָּוִד וְאָמַרְתְּ אֵלָיו
הֲלֹא אַתָּה אֲדֹנִי הַמֶּלֶךְ נִשְׁבַּעְתָּ לַאֲמָתְךָ לֵאמֹר
כִּי שְׁלֹמֹה בְנֵךְ יִמְלֹךְ אַחֲרַי וְהוּא יֵשֵׁב עַל כִּסְאִי
 וּמַדּוּעַ מָלַךְ אֲדֹנִיָּהוּ?
(יד) הִנֵּה עוֹדָךְ מְדַבֶּרֶת שָׁם עִם הַמֶּלֶךְ וַאֲנִי אָבוֹא אַחֲרַיִךְ וּמִלֵּאתִי אֶת דְּבָרָיִךְ:
(1) Nathan to Bathsheba
11 Then Nathan spoke to Bath-sheba the mother of Solomon, saying:
Have you not heard that Adonijah the son of Haggith reigns, and David our lord knows it not?
12 Now therefore come, let me, please, give you couns
el, so that you may save your own life, and the life of your son Solomon. 13 Go and come to David the king, and say to him: Did you not, my lord the king, swear to your handmaid, saying: For Solomon your son shall reign after me, and he shall sit upon my throne? Why then does Adonijah reign?!
14 Behold, while you talk there with the king, I will come in after you, and fill in your words.’

(2) בת שבע לדוד

מלכים א פרק א
(טו) וַתָּבֹא בַת שֶׁבַע אֶל הַמֶּלֶךְ הַחַדְרָה וְהַמֶּלֶךְ זָקֵן מְאֹד
וַאֲבִישַׁג הַשּׁוּנַמִּית מְשָׁרַת אֶת הַמֶּלֶךְ:
(טז) וַתִּקֹּד בַּת שֶׁבַע וַתִּשְׁתַּחוּ לַמֶּלֶךְ וַיֹּאמֶר הַמֶּלֶךְ מַה לָּךְ:
(יז) וַתֹּאמֶר לוֹ אֲדֹנִי אַתָּה נִשְׁבַּעְתָּ בַּה’ אֱלֹהֶיךָ לַאֲמָתֶךָ
כִּי שְׁלֹמֹה בְנֵךְ יִמְלֹךְ אַחֲרָי וְהוּא יֵשֵׁב עַל כִּסְאִי:
(יח) וְעַתָּה הִנֵּה אֲדֹנִיָּה מָלָךְ
וְעַתָּה אֲדֹנִי הַמֶּלֶךְ לֹא יָדָעְתָּ!
(יט) וַיִּזְבַּח שׁוֹר וּמְרִיא וְצֹאן לָרֹב וַיִּקְרָא לְכָל בְּנֵי הַמֶּלֶךְ וּלְאֶבְיָתָר הַכֹּהֵן וּלְיֹאָב שַׂר הַצָּבָא –
וְלִשְׁלֹמֹה עַבְדְּךָ לֹא קָרָא!
(כ) וְאַתָּה אֲדֹנִי הַמֶּלֶךְ עֵינֵי כָל יִשְׂרָאֵל עָלֶיךָ לְהַגִּיד לָהֶם מִי יֵשֵׁב עַל כִּסֵּא אֲדֹנִי הַמֶּלֶךְ אַחֲרָיו:
(כא) וְהָיָה כִּשְׁכַב אֲדֹנִי הַמֶּלֶךְ עִם אֲבֹתָיו וְהָיִיתִי אֲנִי וּבְנִי שְׁלֹמֹה חַטָּאִים:
(כב) וְהִנֵּה עוֹדֶנָּה מְדַבֶּרֶת עִם הַמֶּלֶךְ וְנָתָן הַנָּבִיא בָּא:

Bath-Sheba To David

15 And Bath-sheba came to the king into the chamber.—
Now the king was very old; and Abishag the Shunammite ministered to the king.– 16 And Bath-sheba bowed, and prostrated herself to the king. And the king said: ‘What do you want?’
17 And she said to him: ‘My lord, you did swear by the LORD your God to your handmaid: For Solomon your son shall reign after me, and he shall sit upon my throne. 18 And now, behold, Adonijah reigns; and now you, my lord the king, know it not! 19 And he has slain oxen and fatlings and sheep in abundance, {P}
and has called all the sons of the king, and Abiathar, the priest, and Joab the captain of the army;
but Solomon your servant he has not called!
20 And you, my lord the king, the eyes of all Israel are upon you, that you should tell them who shall sit on the throne of my lord the king after him. 21 Otherwise it will come to pass, when my lord the king shall sleep with his fathers, that I and my son Solomon shall be counted offenders.’
22 And while she was talking with the king, Nathan the prophet came.

(3) נתן לדוד

מלכים א פרק א
(כג) וַיַּגִּידוּ לַמֶּלֶךְ לֵאמֹר הִנֵּה נָתָן הַנָּבִיא
וַיָּבֹא לִפְנֵי הַמֶּלֶךְ וַיִּשְׁתַּחוּ לַמֶּלֶךְ עַל אַפָּיו אָרְצָה:
(כד) וַיֹּאמֶר נָתָן אֲדֹנִי הַמֶּלֶךְ אַתָּה אָמַרְתָּ
אֲדֹנִיָּהוּ יִמְלֹךְ אַחֲרָי וְהוּא יֵשֵׁב עַל כִּסְאִי?!
(כה) כִּי יָרַד הַיּוֹם וַיִּזְבַּח שׁוֹר וּמְרִיא וְצֹאן לָרֹב וַיִּקְרָא לְכָל בְּנֵי הַמֶּלֶךְ וּלְשָׂרֵי הַצָּבָא [יואב] וּלְאֶבְיָתָר הַכֹּהֵן וְהִנָּם אֹכְלִים וְשֹׁתִים לְפָנָיו וַיֹּאמְרוּ יְחִי הַמֶּלֶךְ אֲדֹנִיָּהוּ:
(כו) וְלִי אֲנִי עַבְדֶּךָ וּלְצָדֹק הַכֹּהֵן וְלִבְנָיָהוּ בֶן יְהוֹיָדָע וְלִשְׁלֹמֹה עַבְדְּךָ לֹא קָרָא!
(כז) אִם מֵאֵת אֲדֹנִי הַמֶּלֶךְ נִהְיָה הַדָּבָר הַזֶּה, וְלֹא הוֹדַעְתָּ אֶת עבדיך עַבְדְּךָ מִי יֵשֵׁב עַל כִּסֵּא אֲדֹנִי הַמֶּלֶךְ אַחֲרָיו…: ס

Nathan To David

23 And they told the king, saying: ‘Behold Nathan the prophet.’
And when he came in before the king, he bowed down before the king with his face to the ground. 24 And Nathan said:
 ‘My lord, the king, have you said: Adonijah shall reign after me, and he shall sit upon my throne? 25 For he is gone down this day, and has slain oxen and fatlings and sheep in abundance, and hath called all the king’s sons, and the captains of the army, and Abiathar the priest; and, behold, they eat and drink before him, and say: Long live king Adonijah.
26 But to me, who is your servant, and Zadok the priest, and Benaiah the son of Jehoiada, and your servant Solomon he has not called. 27 Is this thing done by my lord the king, and you have not declared to your servant who should sit on the throne of my lord the king after him?’


Solomon’s Coronation

I Kings 1:32-40: For the rest of the book of Kings we will not get such extensive descriptions of coronations, so enjoy this one.  Note the steps and symbols being used:

  • A mule that the king rode on – certain things belong strictly to the king (I will mention here also wives, even if we do not like to think of them as “belongings.”)
  • The representation of God by a priest (cultic-hereditary) and a prophet (spiritual – an individual chosen by God.)
  • Blowing the horns
  • Anointed by oil (this is the source of the term Mashiach -– Messiah = he who is anointed.)
  • The people’s proclamation: “May the king Solomon live!”
  • Seeing all this – what (and who) was missing from Adonijah’s self-coronation?

And what about Adonijah?

I Kings 1:41-53

Failure has few friends.  Not surprising, as soon as the news of Solomon’s inauguration gets around, Adonijah’s group disperses. Not only did they fail, they could be considered traitors (they went against the king, be it David or Solomon.)

  1. How does Adonijah react?  Why? (Exodus 21:14 might help shed some light on this.)
  2. How does Solomon react?  In your opinion, was he correct?  Why?

Go to Next Class – Coming Into His Own

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