← Back

Why was Adonijah put to death?


1 Kings 2:24

ESV - 24 Now therefore as the Lord lives, who has established me and placed me on the throne of David my father, and who has made me a house, as he promised, Adonijah shall be put to death today.

Clarify Share Report Asked February 09 2021 Mini Anonymous

Community answers are sorted based on votes. The higher the vote, the further up an answer is.

Mini Tim Maas Retired Quality Assurance Specialist with the U.S. Army
As noted in 1 Chronicles 22:6-10, God indicated to David before he died that Solomon (his son by Bathsheba, the former wife of Uriah the Hittite) was to succeed him as king.

In David's later years (as recounted in 1 Kings 1:1-4), David was tended to by a beautiful woman identified as Abishag the Shunammite. Despite the close relationship between them, David did not have sexual relations with her because of his advanced age. 

David had made it clear that Solomon was to be his successor as king. However, Adonijah, who was one of David's other sons by another of David's wives (and thus a half-brother to Solomon), was very ambitious, and also wanted to succeed David as king.

As a result, he plotted to take various actions (even while David was still living) that he felt would establish him as the rightful successor to David in the eyes of the people. (As part of this plot, Adonijah enlisted the aid of Joab, who had been one of David's military leaders, as well as the aid of Abiathar the priest.)

Despite his efforts, his plot did not succeed, and Solomon was crowned king. Solomon also magnanimously promised Adonijah that, if he took no further seditious actions, Solomon would not harm him (even though Adonijah had rightly deserved punishment for his deeds).

After David died, Adonijah went to Bathsheba (Solomon's mother), and asked her to use her influence with Solomon as the new king, to persuade Solomon to grant Abishag to Adonijah, so that she might serve and care for him as she had with David.

Even though Solomon had forgiven Adonijah for his prior actions, he viewed this new request by Adonijah as another direct threat by Adonijah to his own rule, since Abishag had been so closely associated with King David in his later years, and the granting of Abishag to Adonijah might be viewed as an indication of Adonijah's right to rule in Solomon's place.

Solomon therefore gave a new order that Adonijah (as well as Joab as his co-conspirator) be put to death, which his servants subsequently carried out. (However, Solomon allowed Abiathar the priest to live (because of his previous service to David), but removed him and his descendants from the hereditary line of the priesthood, which fulfilled a prior prophecy made against the descendants of the former high priest Eli because of the corruption of his family (1 Samuel 2:27-36).)

February 09 2021 1 response Vote Up Share Report

Add your Answer

All answers are REVIEWED and MODERATED.
Please ensure your answer MEETS all our guidelines.

What makes a good answer? ▼

A good answer provides new insight and perspective. Here are guidelines to help facilitate a meaningful learning experience for everyone.

  1. Adhere to the eBible Statement of Faith.
  2. Your answer should be complete and stand-alone.
  3. Include supporting arguments, and scripture references if possible. Seek to answer the "why".
  4. Adhere to a proper tone and spirit of love and understanding.
  5. For more info see The Complete Guide to eBible
  1. 4000 characters remaining