1 Kings 1

Verse 39. Uriah the Hittite: thirty and seven in all.] To these

the author of 1Ch 11:41 adds

Zabad son of Ahlai.

1Ch 11:42

-Adina the son of Shiza the Reubenite, a captain of the

Reubenites, and thirty with him.

1Ch 11:43

-Hanan the son of Maachah, and Joshaphat the Mithnite,

1Ch 11:44

-Uzzia the Ashterathite, Shama and Jehiel the sons of Hothan

the Aroerite,

1Ch 11:45

-Jediael the son of Shimri, and Joha his brother, the Tizite,

1Ch 11:46

-Eliel the Mahavite, and Jeribai, and Joshaviah, the sons of

Elnaam, and Ithmah the Moabite,

1Ch 11:47

-Eliel, and Obed, and Jasiel the Mesobaite.

THE 4th and 5th verses 2Sa 23:4, 5 are very obscure;

L. De Dieu gives them a good meaning, if not the true one:-

"The perpetuity of his kingdom David amplifies by a comparison

to three natural things, which are very grateful to men, but not

constant and stable. For the sun arises and goes down again; the

morning may be clear, but clouds afterwards arise; and the tender

grass springs up, but afterwards withers. Not so, said he, is my

kingdom before God; it is flourishing like all these, but

perpetual, for he has made an everlasting covenant with me,

though some afflictions have befallen me; and he has not made all

my salvation and desire to grow."

De Dieu repeats ke, the note of similitude, thrice; and

the following is his version:-

"The God of Israel said, the Rock of Israel spake unto me, (or

concerning me:) The just man ruleth among men; he ruleth in the

fear of God. And, as the sun ariseth with a shining light; as the

morning is without clouds by reason of its splendour; as, from

rain, the tender grass springeth out of the earth; truly so is not

my house with God: because he hath made an everlasting covenant

with me; disposed in all things, and well kept and preserved in

that order. Although he doth not make all my deliverance and

desire to grow, i.e., though some adversities happen to me and my

family; yet, that always remains, which, in the covenant of God

made with me, is in all things orderly, disposed, and preserved."

See Bishop Patrick on the place.

Once more I must beg the reader to refer to the First

Dissertation of Dr. Kennicott, on the present state of the printed

Hebrew text; in which there is not only great light cast on this

subject, several corruptions in the Hebrew text being

demonstrated, but also many valuable criticisms on different texts

in the sacred writings. There are two Dissertations, 2 vols. 8vo.;

and both very valuable.

THE

FIRST BOOK OF THE KINGS

-Year from the Creation, according to the English Bible, 2989.

-Year before the Incarnation, 1015.

-Year from the destruction of Troy, according to Dionysius of

Halicarnassus, 170.

-Year before the first Olympiad, 239.

-Year before the building of Rome, 262.

-Year of the Julian Period, 3699.

-Year of the Dionysian Period, 507.

-Cycle of the Sun, 3.

-Cycle of the Moon, 13.

-Year of Acastus, the second perpetual archon of the Athenians,

31.

-Pyritiades was king over the Assyrians about this time,

according to Scaliger, Langius, and Strauchius. He was the

thirty-seventh monarch, (including Belus,) according to

Africanus, and the thirty-third according to Eusebius.

-Year of Alba Silvius, the sixth king of the Latins, 15.

-Year of David, king of the Hebrews, 40.

CHAPTER I

David, grown old, is, by the advice of his physicians,

cherished by Abishag the Shunummite, 1-4.

Adonijah conspires with Joab and Abiathar to seize on the

government, 5-10.

Nathan and Bathsheba communicate these tidings to the aged king,

11-27.

David immediately pronounces Solomon his successor, and causes

Zadok and Nathan to proclaim and anoint him king, 28-40.

Adonijah and his friends hear of it, are afraid, and flee away,

Adonijah laying hold on the horns of the altar, from which he

refuses to go till Solomon shall promise him his life; this he

does, and banishes him to his own house, 41-53.

NOTES ON CHAP. I

Verse 1. Now King David was old] He was probably now about

sixty-nine years of age. He was thirty years old when he began

to reign, reigned forty, and died in the seventieth year of his

age, 2Sa 5:4, and 1Ki 2:11; and the transactions mentioned here

are supposed to have taken place about a year before his death.

But he gat no heat.] Sixty-nine was not an advanced age; but

David had been exhausted with various fatigues, and especially by

family afflictions, so that he was much older in constitution than

he was in years. Besides he seems to have laboured under some

wasting maladies, to which there is frequent reference in the

Psalms.

Verse 2. Let there be sought-a young virgin] This was the best

remedy which in his state could be prescribed. His nearly

exhausted frame would infallibly absorb from her young and healthy

body an additional portion of animal heat, and consequently trim

and revive the flame of animal life. This is properly, as I have

elsewhere expressed it, Friar Bacon's secret for the cure of old

age.

Verse 4. The king knew her not.] The maxim of Bacon in his

enigmatical cure is, "Take all you can from the medicine, but give

nothing to it; if you give any thing, it increases the disease and

hastens death." I have seen this abundantly verified; but it is a

subject on which it would be improper to dilate except in a

medical work. An extract from Friar Bacon's Cure of Old Age may be

found at the end of the chapter. See Clarke on 1Ki 1:53.

Verse 5. Adonijah the son of Haggith] Who this woman was we know

not; Adonijah was evidently David's eldest son now living, and one

of whom his father was particularly fond; see 1Ki 1:6.

Prepared him chariots and horsemen] He copied the conduct of his

brother Absalom in every respect. See 2Sa 15:1.

Verse 7. And he conferred with Joab] Joab well knew, if he made

the new king, he would necessarily be continued in the command of

the army, and so govern him.

Verse 8. And Nathan] Some suppose that he was the preceptor of

Solomon.

Verse 9. Slew sheep and oven] Making a royal feast, in reference

to his inauguration. As he had Abiathar the priest with him, no

doubt these animals were offered sacrificially, and then the

guests fed on the flesh of the victims. He had not only a splendid

feast, but a great sacrifice; and he gave by this a popular colour

to his pretensions, by affecting to receive his authority from

God.

Verse 11. Hast thou not heard that Adonijah the son of Haggith

doth reign] He was now considered as being legally appointed to

the regal office, and no doubt was about to begin to perform its

functions.

Verse 12. Save thine own life, and the life of thy son] Nathan

took for granted that Adonijah would put both Bath-sheba and

Solomon to death as state criminals, if he got established on the

throne. O cursed lust of rule! a father will destroy his son, a

son depose his father, and a brother murder a brother, in order to

obtain a crown! At this time the monarchy of Israel was unsettled;

no man knew who was to succeed to the crown, and the minds of the

people were as unsettled as the succession. I have examined both

systems, and find that, with all its alleged disadvantages,

hereditary monarchy has a high balance of evidence in its favour

beyond that which is elective, and is every way more safe for the

state and more secure for the subject.

Verse 13. Go and get thee in unto King David] He knew that this

woman had a sovereign influence over the king. If Bath-sheba was a

source of pleasure to David, must she not also have been a source

of pain to him? For could he ever forget the guilty manner in

which he acquired her?

Didst not thou-swear] It is very likely that David made such an

oath, and that was known only to Bath-sheba and Nathan. It is

nowhere else mentioned.

Verse 20. That thou shouldest tell-who shall sit on the throne]

This was a monarchy neither hereditary nor elective; the king

simply named his successor. This obtained less or more, anciently,

in most countries.

Verse 21. Shall be counted offenders.] When Adonijah and his

party shall find that I and my son have had this promise from thee

by oath, he will slay us both.

Verse 28. Call me Bath-sheba.] She had gone out when Nathan came

in, and he retired when she was re-admitted. Each had a separate

audience, but to Nathan the king did not express any will.

Verse 33. Take with you the servants of your lord] By these we

may understand the kings guards, the guards of the city, the

Cherethites and Pelethites, who were under the command of

Benaiah; and in short, all the disposable force that was at hand.

Solomon-to ride upon mine own mule] No subject could use any

thing that belonged to the prince, without forfeiting his life. As

David offered Solomon to ride on his own mule, this was full

evidence that he had appointed him his successor.

Verse 34. Blow ye with the trumpet] After he has been anointed,

make proclamation that he is king.

Verse 36. Sit upon my throne] The matter of conducting a

business of this kind seems to have been this: 1. The king elect

was placed on the mule of his predecessor, and caused to ride

abroad to one of the public wells, or to a river where there was

the greatest concourse of people, that they might see who he was

that was appointed. Solomon was here taken to the river Gihon, in

order to be anointed; the continual stream or constantly running

fountain, denoting the perpetuity of the kingdom. 2. The priest

and the prophet anointed him in the name of the Lord; and thereby

signified that he should be endued with all the kingly virtues;

that he should reign by, under, and for the Lord. 3. The trumpet

was then to be blown, and solemn proclamation made, that he was

anointed king. 4. He was then brought and solemnly placed on the

throne, to signify that he had now assumed the reins of

government, and was about to administer justice and judgement to

the people.

Verse 37. Make his throne greater than the throne of-David.] A

wish of this kind a king will suffer in behalf of his son, but it

is never in ordinary cases considered a compliment to say, "I hope

this child will make a better man than his father," because it

seems to insinuate some reflections on his father's conduct or

character. Many foolish people deal in such compliments, and they

may rest assured, for the reasons given above, that they are far

from being either welcome or agreeable.

Claudian, in his panegyric De Quarto Consulatu Honorii Augusti,

ver. 428, has words something similar to those of Benaiah, when he

describes a father, worn out with toils and difficulties,

committing the reins of government to the hands of his son:-

Adspice, completur votum: jam natus adaequat Te meritis; et,

quod magis est optabile, vincit.

"Behold, thy desire is accomplished. Even now thy son equals

thee in worth; and what is still more desirable, surpasses thee."

Verse 39. Zadok-took a horn of oil] Pottery and glass were

little in use in those times; and horns were frequently used to

hold oil and wine. The oil used here was the holy anointing oil,

which was laid up in the tabernacle, and which was used for the

anointing of both priests and kings.

Verse 40. The people piped with pipes] They danced, sang, and

played on what instruments of music they possessed.

The earth rent] We use a similar expression in precisely the

same sense: They rent the air with their cries.

Verse 43. Jonathan answered] He was properly a messenger about

the court; we have met with him and Ahimaaz before, 2Sa 15:36. He

had now been an observer, if not a spy, on all that was doing, and

relates the transactions to Adonijah, in the very order in which

they took place.

1. David has nominated Solomon his successor.

2. Zadok, Nathan, and Benaiah, have been appointed to set him on

the king's mule.

3. They have taken him to Gihon, and anointed him there.

4. They have brought him up to Jerusalem and placed him on the

throne of the kingdom.

Verse 47. Moreover, the king's servants came] The king himself

was at this time confined to his own house, and probably to his

bed, and could not possibly see these ceremonies; therefore his

confidential servants came and told him. We know not how Jonathan,

in so short a time, possessed himself of so much information.

Verse 50. Adonijah feared] He knew he had usurped the kingdom,

and had not his father's consent; and, as he finds now that

Solomon is appointed by David, he knows well that the people will

immediately respect that appointment, and that his case is

hopeless; he therefore took sanctuary, and, fleeing to the

tabernacle, laid hold on one of the horns of the altar, as if

appealing to the protection of God against the violence of men.

The altar was a privileged place, and it was deemed sacrilege to

molest a man who had taken refuge there. See 1Ki 2:28.

Verse 52. If he will show himself a worthy man] If, from

henceforth, he behave well, show himself to be contented, and not

endeavour to make partisans, or stir up insurrections among the

people, he shall be safe; but if wickedness be found in him-if he

act at all contrary to this-he shall die; his blood shall be upon

him.

Verse 53. Go to thine house.] Intimating that he should have no

place about the king's person, nor under the government. Adonijah

must have seen that he stood continually on his good behaviour.

Friar Bacon's method of restoring and strengthening

the Natural Heat

"I have read many volumes of the wise: I find few things in

physic which restore the natural heat, weakened by dissolution of

the innate moisture, or increase of a foreign one.

"But certain wise men have tacitly made mention of some

medicine, which is likened to that which goes out of the mine of

the noble animal. They affirm that in it there is a force and

virtue which restores and increases the natural heat. As to its

disposition, they say it is like youth itself, and contains an

equal and temperate complexion.

"And the signs of a temperate complexion in men are when their

colour is made up of white and red, when the hair is yellow,

inclined to redness and curling.

"This medicine indeed is like to such a complexion, for it is of

a temperate heat: its flame is temperate and sweet, and grateful

to the smell. When it departs from this temperature, it departs so

far from its virtue and goodness.

"This medicine therefore temperately heats, because it is

temperately hot; it therefore heals because it is whole. When it

is sick, it makes a man sick; when it is distempered, it breeds

distempers, and changes the body to its own disposition, because

of the similitude it has with the body.

"For the infirmity of a brute animal rarely passes into a man,

but into another animal of the same kind; but the infirmity of man

passes into man; and so does health, because of likeness.

"This thing is seldom found; and although sometimes it be found,

yet it cannot commodiously be had of all men.

"Now, when this thing is like to youth, that is, of temperate

complexion, it has good operations; if its temperature be better,

it produces better effects: sometimes it is even in the highest

degree of its perfection, and then it operates best; and then

there is that property whereof we have spoken before.

"This differs from other medicines and nutriments, which heat

and moisten after a certain temperate manner, and are good for old

men. For other medicines principally heat and moisten the body;

and, secondarily, they strengthen the native heat, and after that

refresh the body, by moistening and heating it. For it brings back

this heat in old men, who have it but weakly and deficient, to a

certain stronger and more vehement power.

"If a plaster be made hereof, and applied to the stomach, it

will help very much, for it will refresh the stomach itself, and

excite an appetite; it will very much recreate an old man, and

change him to a kind of youth; and will make complexions, by what

means soever depraved or corrupted, better. But it is to be

observed, that Venus doth weaken and diminish the power and virtue

of this thing!

"And it is very likely that the son of the prince, in his second

canon of the Operations of Simple Medicines spoke of this thing,

where he saith, that there is a certain medicine, concealed by

wise men, lest the incontinent should offend their Creator. There

is such a heat in this thing, as is in young men of sound

complexion; and if I durst declare the properties of this heat,

this most hidden secret should presently be revealed. For this

heat doth help the palsical, it restores and preserves the wasted

strength of the native heat, and causeth it to flourish in all the

members, and gently revives the aged.

"But the simple medicine which restores the native heat, when

wasted and weakened, is that which is likened to the complexion of

a healthy young man."

All this covered and enigmatical description is intended simply

to point out that very medicine recommended by the Jewish

physicians to restore and invigorate the dying king. I could show

the bearing of every sentence, but I must leave something to the

good sense of my readers. By attending to the words in italics,

the sense will be more easily discovered.

See Clarke on Ru 4:16.

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