This passage is also unique to Kings. It is a continuation of the account of Adonijah, the fourth son of David and the oldest alive at the time Solomon was anointed king. Chapter 1 covers his attempt to gain the throne when David was well advanced in years. These verses cover another attempt Adonijah made to become king.
David had no sooner passed away when Adonijah hatched his plan to gain power through marriage. Adonijah had convinced himself of the gross exaggeration that he was indeed the king of Israel and all of Israel looked to him as their king (15). He seems to acknowledge and yet hold resented to the Lord for making Solomon king (15).
Adonijah’s request seems innocent enough. He went to Bethsheba, Solomon’s mother with a Petition. Bathsheba expresses weary concern. She knew his character. He might not be going to her peacefully (13).
Adonijah asked her to go before Solomon with his solicitation. Adonijah wanted to marry Abishag, David’s beautiful young personal attendant (17). Abishag was assigned to help David in his old age. She shared his bed to keep him warm. Yet she remained a virgin.
Solomon saw Adonijah’s nefarious duplicity. If Adonijah would marry Abishag, he would be all but proclaim himself king (22). Solomon had him put to death for such a request (23). Solomon refused his mother’s solicitation on Adonijah’s behalf.
Adonijah was wrong only because of one reason, the Lord had made it clear that Solomon would be king. Seeking otherwise was a sin. I need to examine why I want to get ahead. Is it my will or the Lord’s will? Am I resisting God’s plan for me or submitting to it? If I go against God’s intentions it could mean my death.