In 1 Kings 2:13-25 when Adonijah asked Bathsheba to ask Solomon for Abishag as a wife, Solomon saw the request as tantamount to a treasonous attempt on the throne.

Given that Bathsheba was aware of Adonijah's previous attempt on the throne, why did she agree to relay the request? Why didn't she see it the same way that Solomon did? Or was the whole point that she was trying to tip off Solomon as to Adonijah's treason? If that was the case, though, why the pretense of relaying it as if it were actually a serious request?

Alternatively: why did Solomon see this as treason and Bathsheba didn't?

  • I've wondered this also: 1. Tho acting ignorant, Bathsheba knew that Adonijah was a threat to Solomon and what this request meant - and the consequences. 2. Bathsheba was jealous of Abishag's beauty and having her off the premises would be a good thing. I'd pick #1, as I see Bathsheba as having gained wisdom. Absalom had used a similar scheme to get the throne from King David.
    – tblue
    Jun 26, 2018 at 6:04

3 Answers 3


Here are two suggestions to answer this good question.

1. Benson:

1 Kings 2:17. That he give me Abishag to wife — It is not likely that either Adonijah or Bath-sheba was ignorant that it was unlawful for any man to marry his father’s wife: but they perhaps thought that as David knew her not, the marriage had not been completed.

Poole makes a similar comment

2. Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary

Her question to him betrays an apprehension which his recent conduct might well warrant; but his pious acknowledgment of the divine will seemed apparently to indicate so entire an acquiescence in the settlement of the succession [1Ki 2:15], that, in her womanly simplicity, she perceived not the deep cunning and evil design that was concealed under his request and readily undertook to promote his wishes.

The true answer may have been a combination of the two.


In reply to Dottard, the “room” on the housetops was a common way adds room to a house cheaply, provide a cooler place to be, etc. Every king went to battle with his troops, so it would’ve been unheard of for him to stay behind. It would’ve been very unusual for anyone to be high enough ( the palace) to see someone bathing on the roof . As is also commonly known, women’s thoughts, opinions, wishes were rarely considered... if the king says “you’re mine tonight,” she would not have had a choice. To call her “stupid,” etc. is to ignore what is known about the customs.

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    – agarza
    Mar 25, 2021 at 20:27
  • Welcome to BH. I have up-voted your answer. (And down-voted the other.)
    – Nigel J
    Mar 25, 2021 at 22:36
  • @barbara The answers shouldn't be a part of chit-chat or a forum discussion (there is a chat available though). In particular I do not see how this is related to the actual question.
    – grammaplow
    Feb 10, 2023 at 13:22

In 1 Kings 2:13-25 why didn't Solomon's mother see Adonijah's request as treasonous?

Because she is simple and naive, even dumb and stupid.

She bathed where David could see her in 2 Samuel 11:2

One evening David got up from his bed and walked around on the roof of the palace. From the roof he saw a woman bathing. The woman was very beautiful,

She married one of the most righteous men in the Bible, Uriah the Hittite. Yet she was unfaithful to him in 2 Samuel 11:4

Then David sent messengers to get her. She came to him, and he slept with her. (Now she was purifying herself from her monthly uncleanness.) Then she went back home.

as if this was no big deal. There was no mention of her reluctance or regret.

After David eliminated Uriah, she married the man who gave order to kill her loyal husband. The Bible didn't say whether she was aware of David's evil plot. In any case, I don't think she cared because she was not thinking or analyzing. She was a simpleton.

Adonijah was a smart guy and knew that she was naive and approached her in 1 Kings 2

13Now Adonijah, the son of Haggith, went to Bathsheba, Solomon’s mother. Bathsheba asked him, “Do you come peacefully?”
He answered, “Yes, peacefully.” 14Then he added, “I have something to say to you.”
“You may say it,” she replied.
15“As you know,” he said, “the kingdom was mine. All Israel looked to me as their king.

She didn't react to Adonijah's claim "as you know" and stupidly granted Adonijah's request to ask Solomon on Adonijah's behalf.

There was no record of her making a decision on her own and she seemed to have trouble of saying no to anyone.

At best she was naive, at worst she was stupid. I think she was both.

  • Well I think she was neither. God caused her to be the mother of King Solomon. Down-voted -1.
    – Nigel J
    Mar 25, 2021 at 22:35

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