The theme of 1st Kings centers around the fact that the welfare of Israel and Judah depends upon the faithfulness of the people and their king to the covenants given by God. The first half of the book records the life of Solomon. Under his leadership, Israel raises to her peak in size and glory. Solomon’s great accomplishments, including the unsurpassed splendor of the temple constructed in Jerusalem, bring him worldwide fame and respect. His wisdom is unsurpassed. However, it is the love of many pagan wives that causes him to have a divided heart, and ultimately a divided kingdom will follow as a judgment.
The second half of 1st kings details the kings that follow after King Solomon. Under his son Rehoboam, the nation splits and thereafter is known as Judah and Israel, and we see a disobedient and idolatrous people that are defeated time and time again because of their rebellion against God.
Now may God richly bless your reading the book of 1st Kings as it opens up to you.
1st Kings Chapter 1
Now King David was old, advanced in years, and they put covers on him, but he could not get warm. Therefore, his servants said to him, "Let a young woman, a virgin, be sought for our master the king, and let her stand before the king, and let her care for him, and let her lie in your bosom, that our master the king may be warm." So, they sought for a lovely young woman throughout all the territory of Israel, and found Abishag the Shunammite, and brought her to the king. The young woman was very lovely, and she cared for the king and served him, but the king did not know her.
Then Adonijah the son of Haggith exalted himself, saying, "I will be king,” and he prepared for himself chariots and horsemen, and fifty men to run before him. (And his father had not rebuked him at any time by saying, "Why have you done so?" He was also very good-looking. His mother had borne him after Absalom.) Then he conferred with Joab the son of Zeruiah and with Abiathar, the priest, and they followed and helped Adonijah. But Zadok the priest, Benaiah the son of Jehoiada, Nathan the prophet, Shimei, Rei, and the mighty men who belonged to David were not with Adonijah. And Adonijah sacrificed sheep and oxen and fattened cattle by the stone of Zoheleth, which is by En Rogel, he also invited all his brothers, the king's sons, and all the men of Judah, the king's servants. But he did not invite Nathan the prophet, Benaiah, the mighty men, or Solomon his brother.
So, Nathan spoke to Bathsheba the mother of Solomon, saying, "Have you not heard that Adonijah the son of Haggith has become king, and David our master does not know it? Come, please, let me now give you advice, that you may save your own life and the life of your son Solomon. Go immediately to King David and say to him, 'Did you not, my master, O king, swear to your maidservant, saying, assuredly your son Solomon shall reign after me, and he shall sit on my throne? Why then has Adonijah become king?' Then, while you are still talking there with the king, I also will come in after you and confirm your words."
So, Bathsheba went into the chamber to the king. (Now the king was very old, and Abishag the Shunammite was serving the king.) And Bathsheba bowed and did homage to the king. Then the king said, "What is your wish?" Then she said to him, "My master, you swore by Jehovah Eloheim, your Creator who saves by covenant, to your maidservant, saying, 'Assuredly Solomon your son shall reign after me, and he shall sit on my throne.' So now, look! Adonijah has become king, and now, my master the king, you do not know about it. He has sacrificed oxen and fattened cattle and sheep in abundance, and has invited all the sons of the king, Abiathar the priest, and Joab the commander of the army, but Solomon, your servant he has not invited. And as for you, my master, O king, the eyes of all Israel are on you, that you should tell them who will sit on the throne of my master the king after him. Otherwise, it will happen, when my master the king rests with his fathers, that I and my son Solomon will be counted as offenders."
And just then, while she was still talking with the king, Nathan the prophet also came in. So, they told the king, saying, "Here is Nathan the prophet." And when he came in before the king, he bowed down before the king with his face to the ground. And Nathan said, "My master, O king, have you said, 'Adonijah shall reign after me, and he shall sit on my throne'? For he has gone down today and has sacrificed oxen and fattened cattle and sheep in abundance, and has invited all the king's sons, and the commanders of the army, and Abiathar, the priest, and look! They are eating and drinking before him, and they say, 'Long live King Adonijah!' But he has not invited me, me your servant, nor Zadok the priest, nor Benaiah the son of Jehoiada, nor your servant Solomon. Has this thing been done by my master the king, and you have not told your servant who should sit on the throne of my master the king after him?"
Then King David answered and said, "Call Bathsheba to me." So, she came into the king's presence and stood before the king. And the king took an oath and said, "As Jehovah, who saves by covenant, lives, who has redeemed my life from every distress, just as I swore to you by Jehovah Eloheim, the Creator of Israel who saves by covenant, saying, 'Assuredly, Solomon, your son shall be king after me, and he shall sit on my throne in my place,' so I certainly will do this day." Then Bathsheba bowed with her face to the earth, and paid homage to the king, and said, "Let my master King David live forever!"
And King David said, "Call to me Zadok the priest, Nathan the prophet, and Benaiah, the son of Jehoiada." So, they came before the king. The king also said to them, "Take with you the servants of your lord, and have Solomon, my son ride on my own mule, and take him down to Gihon. There let Zadok the priest and Nathan the prophet anoint him king over Israel, and blow the horn, and say, 'Long live King Solomon!' Then you shall come up after him, and he shall come and sit on my throne, and he shall be king in my place. For I have appointed him to be ruler over Israel and Judah." Benaiah, the son of Jehoiada, answered the king and said, "Amen! May Jehovah Eloheim, the Creator of my master who saves by covenant, the king say so too. As Jehovah, who saves by covenant, has been with my master the king, even so, may He be with Solomon, and make his throne greater than the throne of my master King David."
So Zadok the priest, Nathan the prophet, Benaiah the son of Jehoiada, the Cherethites, and the Pelethites went down and had Solomon ride on King David's mule, and took him to Gihon. Then Zadok the priest took a horn of oil from the tabernacle and anointed Solomon. And they blew the horn, and all the people said, "Long live King Solomon!" And all the people went up after him, and the people played the flutes and rejoiced with great joy so that the earth seemed to split with their sound.
Now Adonijah and all the guests who were with him heard it as they finished eating. And when Joab heard the sound of the horn, he said, "Why is the city in such a noisy uproar?" While he was still speaking, there came Jonathan, the son of Abiathar, the priest. And Adonijah said to him, "Come in, for you are a prominent man, and bring good news." Then Jonathan answered and said to Adonijah, "No! Our master King David has made Solomon king. The king has sent with him Zadok the priest, Nathan the prophet, Benaiah the son of Jehoiada, the Cherethites, and the Pelethites, and they have made him ride on the king's mule. So Zadok the priest and Nathan the prophet has anointed him king at Gihon, and they have gone up from there rejoicing so that the city is in an uproar. This is the noise that you have heard. Also, Solomon sits on the throne of the kingdom. And moreover, the king's servants have gone to bless our master, King David, saying, 'May Eloheim the Creator make the name of Solomon better than your name, and may He make his throne greater than your throne.” Then the king bowed himself on the bed. Also, the king said thus, “Blessed be Jehovah Eloheim, the Creator of Israel who saves by covenant, who has given one to sit on my throne this day, while my eyes see it!" So, all the guests who were with Adonijah were afraid and arose, and each one went his way.
Now Adonijah was afraid of Solomon, so he arose, and went and took hold of the horns of the altar. And it was told Solomon, saying, "Indeed Adonijah is afraid of King Solomon, for look, he has taken hold of the horns of the altar, saying, 'Let King Solomon swear to me today that he will not put his servant to death with the sword.” Then Solomon said, "If he proves himself a worthy man, not one hair of him shall fall to the earth, but if wickedness is found in him, he shall die." So, King Solomon sent them to bring him down from the altar. And he came and fell down before King Solomon, and Solomon said to him, "Go to your house."