In 1 Kings 1:11-14, Nathan and Bathsheba formulate a plan to have David make Solomon his successor as king rather than Adonijah, a plan which includes an oath:

Then Nathan asked Bathsheba, Solomon’s mother, "Have you not heard that Adonijah, the son of Haggith, has become king, and our lord David knows nothing about it? Now then, let me advise you how you can save your own life and the life of your son Solomon. Go in to King David and say to him, 'My lord the king, did you not swear to me your servant: "Surely Solomon your son shall be king after me, and he will sit on my throne"? Why then has Adonijah become king?'"

Bathsheba then goes in to see David and reminds him supposedly of this oath he made (verse 17):

She said to him, "My lord, you yourself swore to me your servant by the Lord your God: 'Solomon your son shall be king after me, and he will sit on my throne.'"

On the one hand, Nathan is the prophet of God and one would assume a reliable character. Yet, on the other hand, there doesn't seem to be any record of David making such an oath in the books of Samuel. And obviously the whole thing is presented as an intrigue with Nathan and Bathsheba double-teaming David so-to-speak. But, again, when David finally acts, he seems very clear-headed about the whole situation; not like one who has been duped.

Does the author intend us to understand that this oath is fabricated, such that Nathan and Bathsheba are attempting to trick David? If so, is this making some sort of statement about Solomon's rule? Or, is the author leaving the fact of the oath purposefully ambiguous to the reader? And if so, what is the purpose of doing so? Or is the reader simply meant to take it as face value that David made such an oath?

  • This was first said in 1 Chronicles 28:5. It wasn't a lie. – AndraeRay Dec 17 '18 at 18:08

Nope. Nathan and Bathsheba are merely bringing this up to David so that the right action could take place. At his point, Adonijah was making a claim to the throne. Bathsheba and Nathan's plea was a reminder to David of who the rightful king was, as David had told Bathsheba prior that indeed Solomon - her son, not Adonijah, another woman's - would become his successor.

All of this is recorded in 1 Kings 1.


WRT 1Chron 28, I am reading the Hebrew and translating it adhoc:

  • v5: and from all my sons, because many sons HaShem gave me, and then He chooses in Solomon my son to sit on the throne of kingdom of HaShem over Israel.

The passage goes on to describe that HaShem has chosen Solomon to build the temple. And then David charges Solomon and reminds Solomon being chosen by HaShem to build the temple, and of his duties as king.

Your question now has to be rephrased. Your question should be

Even though David publicly declares Solomon his successor, did he personally promise BathSheba so?

Which I think would be a moot question. Because imagine, that President Trump publicly declares he will appoint Tillerson as Secretary of State, that he did not personally speak to him about it after that? Or that Trump publicly declares Jared Kushner would be one of his personal advisers but he did not discuss with Ivanka at all about it?

That would be kinda strange, wouldn't it?

Secondly, he declared in the name of HaShem to all of Israel that Solomon would be king after him. Would BathSheba be considered as part of the crowd who accepted that declaration, so that she could say David made a promise to her as part of the crowd that Solomon would be king?

  • 1
    OP is interested in the narrator of 1 Kings ... so I'm puzzled why you go to 1 Chronicles? Your question re-statement is appropriate for Chronicles, but 1 Kings doesn't tell the story in this way. – Dɑvïd Feb 14 '17 at 12:55
  • Did you mean that any promise made in 1Chron is no longer applicable to 1Kings? Did you mean that any prophecies made in Isaiah are no longer applicable today? Are you admitting that any prophecies the gospels claim to fulfill, the gospels are a lie because no such prophecies were made because they were not in the same book? – Cynthia Avishegnath Feb 14 '17 at 17:50
  • @CynthiaAvishegnath Please remember this site is about hermeneutics, not who can win a debate. Dɑvïd simply pointed out that the story in Kings is very different to that in Chron, so it is Kings we should be following - using Chron only to explain a point if that is necessary. Kings is generally regarded as much earlier than Chronicles. – Dick Harfield Feb 14 '17 at 19:57
  • I have no understanding of your school of hermeneutics. All your responses are, pardon the strong word, obsessed with the unverifiable argument of which book was written first, how which book was written after the fact - linguistic archaeology is a subjective and undependable field. It belongs to the halls of liberal theology. I simply follow the narrative's chronology. If we don't then the the whole bible is a lie. The question is moot. – Cynthia Avishegnath Feb 14 '17 at 20:44
  • I belong to the school of hermeneutics where what happens in Vegas does not stay in Vegas. What happens in Isaiah is used and should be used in other books. I belong to the school of unified field theory. How could someone who argues on the basis of linguistic archaeology is unable to analyse the Hebrew grammar, to have a personal relationship with the Hebrew language? – Cynthia Avishegnath Feb 14 '17 at 20:46

protected by Community Nov 20 '18 at 5:07

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