Absalom had been killed a few years back, who was, like Solomon, a son of David. Absalom was handsome, son of a princess Maacah, who was one of the wives of David. Yet with all those desirable background and personal capabilities, and with most of the people on his side, in an internal fight with his father, he did not succeed. He did not have an army, he had a band of followers – who gave Absalom numbers but not the strength and fire power.
Absalom was Solomon’s Elder Brother and had failed to wrest the kingdom out of the hands of his father David. Now that David was in a moribund stage, Solomon had anxieties.
The prime example before Solomon, exemplifying failure, was Absalom – a man with better pedigree and capability than Solomon Himself. Solomon had to exceed at least in some of the areas where Absalom had shown inadequacy. Primarily that must have been towards the undying loyalty of the army and its commanders. Capturing power was precursor to all sanctification of that power!
Unfortunately for Solomon, Joab the Chief Commander of David’s army was with Adonijah. The second most important person was the Priest, The then Priest Abiathar had also thrown his lot with Adonijah. So two of the most powerful institutions of the kingdom were with Adonijah.
It is at this point that Adonijah committed the cardinal error of NOT including the services of his mother Haggith, one of the wives of David, to gain access to the moribund King David. Adonijah probably assumed that the institutional heads of the army and the clergy were with him and therefore could afford to declare himself the King – though the King was still alive. Adonijah, had a sense of entitlement, he thought he was the eldest surviving son of David and naturally had a right to become the next King.
But the vacancy had not arisen, and any proclamation by even these institutional heads could be construed as usurpation.
This is where Bathsheba and Solomon move in.
Bathsheba must have had a deep fear, about her future in the absence of David, of being stamped as an adulteress and with the kingship in the hands of Adonijah that power could be quickly used for that purpose.
Joab was the commander to whom David had written the letter to set up Uriah, the Hittite, as if to appear as a victim in the battle. Nobody could have known about the whereabouts of that letter written by David now. If Joab were to produce any proof of that letter, even a forged one, the authority would be with Adonijah to decide the veracity and to sanctify the writer’s identity and the content.
Nathan, The Prophet who brought the linkage of the death of Uriah with the intent of murder by David, and published it to David was now in the camp of Solomon. If Adonijah would become the King, then to direct the Priest Abiathar to declare the sentence of death on an adulteress would have definitely been within the realm of a certainty.
Bathsheba had every reason to be afraid and anxious. It was a question of survival. Either make Solomon the King and ensure that Joab is killed or she and her son Solomon would be.
A predicament, which how a mother could have shared with her son – to think, sets my teeth on edge.
But Bathsheba, to my understanding was a consummate crook. Look at it this way – Uriah refused to go to his house when his commander was toiling in the battlefront, but what prevented Bathsheba, who had earlier been emboldened to go to the palace of King David, to make a visit to the same courtyard to see her husband? Was it the guilt of Adultery – which was forced by David? Or was it a pre existing conspiracy with King David, which prevented her from at least visiting her husband Uriah for enquiring his well being, during his refusal to go to his own home for noble reasons?
David, instead of coaxing Uriah to go to his house to legitimise the pregnancy of Bathsheba could have easily planned to coax Bathsheba into seducing her husband, during his short visit, and legitimise the unwanted pregnancy of Bathsheba! But David was not inclined to encourage any more of the conjugal rights of Uriah over Bathsheba.
Power teaches a man the art of obtaining his objectives without asking. The adulteress Bathsheba did not want to antagonise – rather wanted to be more loyal to the adulterer than her husband. With all this in the back drop, it would be my inescapable conclusion that she was a woman who would do what has to be done, and not indulging in vain time consuming moral assessments.
So in this scenario, when Adonijah jumped the gun thoughtlessly, Bathsheba entered the chamber of the dying King David and claimed that she had gotten a promise from David. Bathsheba, backed by the army commander Benaiah and the prophet Nathan made a declaration from the palace. The palace is the place for such announcements and not the market place.
The people Trust proclamations and not mere announcements. The proclamation that Solomon was appointed with the approval of King David would definitely please the people, the sepoys and the army and the prayerful novices of the seminary make up the backbone of the commanders and priests. They form the mass – that’s how, my friend Solomon got rid of his anxieties and with the help of his shrewd mother became the King of Israel.
That Wisdom was granted to him was a later feature, that should not be linked to Solomon, the son of Bathsheba!
Not for nothing is it mentioned in Proverbs 24 thus:
3 Through wisdom is an house builded; and by understanding it is established:
4 And by knowledge shall the chambers be filled with all precious and pleasant riches.
But fortunately, there is no mention of what is required for ACQUISITION.
Solomon acquired the Kingdom through the guile and chicanery of Bathsheba.