Solomon succeeds his father David
1 Kings 1:1-27 As King David becomes more frail during the fortieth year of his reign and his death seems imminent, Adonijah, David's eldest surviving son, claims the throne in c.972BC. He offers a sacrifice at the Stone of Zoheleth (the ‘Serpent’s Stone’) near the spring of En Rogel in the Kidron Valley half a mile / 1 km south of Jerusalem (see Map 61) and invites the leaders of Israel to join him.
The Lower Kidron Valley looking from the Gihon Spring towards En Rogel
1 Kings 1:28-40 David’s wish is that Solomon should succeed him. Zadok the Priest and Nathan the Prophet take Solomon to the Spring of Gihon in the Kidron Valley immediately below the City of David (see Map 61) and anoint Solomon king. The people of Jerusalem rejoice and welcome their new king.
1 Kings 1:41-53 The news is brought to Adonijah, who returns to the city and pleads with his brother Solomon for mercy.
1 Kings 2:1-12 David dies in c.971BC and is buried in David's City on Mount Zion in Jerusalem (see Map 61). A mausoleum believed to be on the site of David’s tomb can still be visited today at Mount Zion to the south of the Old City. This, however, is unlikely to be the actual site of David’s tomb as he was buried in the City of David on the Ophel ridge on the eastern side of the Tyropeoen Valley. The area to the west of the Tyropeoen Valley was incorrecly identified as Mount Zion by early Christian pilgrims in the 4th century AD, and, unfortunately, this mistaken identity has caused confusion about the correct location of Mount Zion ever since.
1 Kings 2:13-46 Solomon makes his position secure by getting rid of his enemies. He kills Adonijah (who has unwisely requested a union with David’s favourite concubine), dismisses Abiathar the priest, executes Joab (the commander of the army), and kills Shimei (who had cursed David at Bahurim as the king escaped from Absalom’s rebellion).
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