1 Kings 1:32-33:

"2 And king David said, Call me Zadok the priest, and Nathan the prophet, and Benaiah the son of Jehoiada. And they came before the king.

33 The king also said unto them, Take with you the servants of your lord, and cause Solomon my son to ride upon mine own mule, and bring him down to Gihon:" (KJV)

If a public ceremony was the only point of Solomon's anointing as the next king, why would he have to be taken out of the city to Gihon? What was there about Gihon that was necessary for the anointing of the king?


'Gihon' is Hebrew word that means 'to burst forth' or 'to gush'. It was that name of the spring that supplied water to the tabernacle and temple complex that Solomon later built. 2Chronicles 32 records how Hezekiah took counsel to contain and reroute this water supply so that the invading king of Assyria could not use it. You can walk through that tunnel today, and today that tunnel is within the borders of the modern city of Jerusalem.

The mouth of Gihon in David's day was outside the city walls of Jerusalem - but just barely. It was still in the vicinity of Jerusalem. David ordered Solomon to be anointed there because of the symbolism that accompanies springs. They support life. They are cleansing. They are refreshing.

In addition, 1Kings1:39 shows how Zadok took oil from the tabernacle to do the anointing. David also chose this place because it was close to the tabernacle which held some of the items they would need for the ceremony.

  • that seems to be the customary symbolism attributed to the stream / river. But is there anything in the scriptures that support that? Or is it just from rabbinical sources? Was the water more important than we may suppose? – Gina Mar 10 at 0:10
  • Fresh running water, as spring water מַ֥יִם חַיִּֽים (Lev. 14:5ff, living water) was very important in the Jewish Law. – Perry Webb Mar 11 at 0:07

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