Translation:1 Kings

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For other English-language translations of this work, see 1 Kings (Bible).
1 Kings by Ezra, translated from Hebrew by Wikisource
Free Bible

Chapter 1[edit]

1And king David was old and advanced in days, and they covered him with clothes, but he was not warmed. 2And his servants said, Let them seek for the king a young virgin, and she shall wait on the king, and cherish him, and lie with him, and my lord the king shall be warmed. 3So they sought for a fair maiden out of all the coasts of Israel, and they found Abishag the Shunammite, and they brought her to the king. 4 The young woman was very beautiful, and she became the king's attendant and took care of him, but the king did not have relations with her.

5 Then Adonijah son of Haggith became ambitious and said, "I will be king." He prepared chariots and riders for himself, and fifty men to run in front of him.

6 And his father never confronted him at any time, to say, "Why are you doing this?" In addition, he had a striking figure. He was born after Absalom. 7 He conferred with Joab ben Zeruiah, and Abiathar the priest, and they provided support to Adonijah. 8 But Zadok the priest, and Benaiah ben Jehoiada, and Nathan the prophet, and Shimei, and Rei, and David's warriors were not with Adonijah.

9 Now Adonijah sacrificed sheep[1] and oxen and fattened cattle by the Stone of Zoheleth, which is near En Rogel, and summoned all his brothers, the king's sons, and all the men of Judah, the king's servants. 10 But he did not call Nathan the prophet, Benaiah, the warriors, or his brother Solomon. 11 Then Nathan spoke to Bath Sheba the mother of Solomon, saying, "Haven't you heard that Adonijah the son of Haggith has become king, and our lord David is unaware? 12 Please come and I will give you counsel, to save your life and the life of your son Solomon. 13 Go and see King David, and say to him, 'Did you not, my lord the king, swear to your servant, "Solomon your son will be king after me, and he will sit on my throne?" Then why has Adonijah become king?' 14 Then, while you are still there speaking with the king, I will come in after you and confirm what you have said."

15 So Bathsheba went in to the king, to his room. Now the king was very old, and Abishag the Shunnamite served him. 16 Bathsheba bowed in homage to the king. The king said, "What do you want?"

17 She said to him, "My lord, you swore by Yahweh your god to your servant, 'Solomon your son would be king after me, and he will sit on my throne.' 18 And yet now Adonijah has become king without your knowledge, my lord the king. 19 He has sacrificed oxen, and fattened cattle, and sheep[2] in great numbers, and has summoned all the sons of the king, and Abiathar the priest, and Joab the army commander, but he has not summoned Solomon your servant. 20 My lord the king, all Israel looks to you now, to tell them who is to sit on the throne of my lord the king after him. 21 Or else, when my lord the king rests with his ancestors, it will happen that I and my son Solomon will be [considered] criminals."

22 Then, as she was still speaking with the king, Nathan the prophet came in. 23 They announced to the king, "Nathan the prophet is here." He came into the king's presence and did homage to the king with his face to the ground.

24 Nathan said, "My lord the king, have you said, 'Adonijah will be king after me, and sit on my throne?' 25 He has gone down today and sacrificed oxen and fattened cattle, and sheep[3] in great numbers. He has summoned all the king's sons, and army commanders, and Abiathar the priest, and now they are eating and drinking in front of him. They are saying, 'Long live king Adonijah!' 26 But as for me, your servant, and Zadok the priest, and Benaiah ben Jehoiada, and your servant Solomon, he has not summoned us. 27 Is this thing being done with the permission of my lord the king, without you telling your servant who is to sit on the throne of my lord the king after him?"

28 King David replied, "Call me Bathsheba." So she came in before the king and stood before the king. 29 The king swore, "By the life of Yahweh, who has rescued my life from distress, 30 just as I swore to you by Yahweh the god of Israel, that Solomon my son would be king after me, and that he would sit on my throne in my place, just so I will certainly do it today."

31 Bathseba bowed her face to the ground, and did homage to the king, and said, "May my lord King David live forever!"

32 King David said, "Call me Zadok the priest, and Nathan the prophet, and Benaiah ben Jehoiada." And they came before the king. 33 The king said to them, "Take your lord's servants with you, and have my son Solomon ride on my own mule, and bring him down to Gihon." 34 And let Zadok the priest and Nathan the prophet anoint him there as king over Israel, and blow on the shofar, and say, 'Long live king Solomon!' 35 Then you are to go up following him, and he will sit upon my throne, and he will be king in my place. I have commanded that he is to be ruler over Israel and over Judah."

36 Benaiah ben Jehoiada replied to the king, "So be it, and may Yahweh the god of my lord the king say so. 37 Just as Yahweh has been with my lord the king, so may he be with Solomon, and may he make his throne greater than the throne of my lord King David."

38 So Zadok the priest, and Nathan the prophet, and Benaiah ben Jehoiada, and the Cherethites, and the Pelethites went down and had Solomon ride on King David's mule, and brought him to Gihon. 39 Zadok the priest took a horn of oil from the tabernacle, and anointed Solomon. They blew on the shofar, and all the people said, "Long live King Solomon!" 40 All the people came up after him, and the people played flutes, and rejoiced with great joy, so that the earth tore with their sound.

41 Adonijah and all the guests who were with him heard it as they were finishing their meal. Joab heard the sound of the shofar, and said, "Why does it sound as if the city is in an uproar?" 42 As he was still speaking, Jonathan son of Abiathar came in, and Adonijah said to him, "Come in, because you are a brave man bringing good news!"

43 Jonathan replied, "No, our lord King David has made Solomon king. 44 The king has sent him with Zadok the priest, Nathan the prophet, Benaiah ben Jehoiada, the Cherethites, the Pelethites, and they have him riding upon the king's mule. 45 Zadok the priest and Nathan the prophet have anoined him king in Gihon, and they have come up from there celebrating, and the city is noisy. That is the sound which you heard. 46 Now Solomon sits on the royal throne. 47 Also, the king's servants came to bless our lord King David, saying, 'May your god make the name of Solomon greater than your name, and his throne larger than your throne.' And the king did homage on his bed. 48 The king also said, 'Blessed be Yahweh the god of Israel, who has today placed someone on my throne today, and my eyes have seen it.'"

49 All the guests who were with Adonijah were afraid, and got up, and each one went his way. 50 And Adonijah was afraid of Solomon, and he went and seized the horns of the altar. 51 It was reported to Solomon, "Now Adonijah is afraid of King Solomon, and he has even grabbed hold of the horns of the altar, and says, 'Let King Solomon swear to me today that he will not kill his servant by the sword.'"

52 Solomon said, "If he will be a worthy man, not one of his hairs will fall to the earth, but if he is found to be wicked, he will die." 53 King Solomon sent word, and they brought him down from the altar. He came and did homage to King Solomon, and Solomon said to him, "Go to your house."

Chapter 2[edit]

1 As the days approached when David would die, he commanded his son Solomon: 2 "I am about to go the way of all the earth.[4] Be strong, and become a man. 3 Pay attention to the instruction of Yahweh your god, to walk in his paths, to keep his ordinances, his commands, his regulations, and his rules, as is written in the Torah of Moses, so that you will succeed in everything you do, and wherever you turn, 4 so that Yahweh will confirm the message he delivered about me, 'If your descendants take care in their lives, to walk before me faithfully, wholeheartedly and single-mindedly, you will not fail to have a man on the throne of Israel.' 5 In addition, you know what Joab the son of Zeruiah did to me, what he did to the two leaders of the army of Israel, to Abner son of Ner and to Amasa son of Jether, how he killed them and shed the blood [only appropriate] to warfare in peacetime, and put the blood of warfare upon his girdle around his waist, and upon his sandals on his feet. 6 Act wisely: do not let him die a natural death of old age.[5] 7 Act loyally toward the sons of Barzillai the Gileadite, and let them eat at your table, because in the same way they approached me when I was fleeing from your brother Absalom. 8 Now, Shimei son of Gera the Benjamite from Bahurim is still alive,[6] and he cursed me bitterly on the day I went to Mahanaim. When he came down to meet me at the Jordan, I swore to him by Yahweh, ‘I will not put you to death.’[7] 9 So do not let him go unpunished, because you are wise, and you know what you should do with him. Kill the old man violently.[8] 10 Then David passed away to be with his ancestors,[9] and he was buried in the city of David.

11 David’s time as king[10] over Israel was forty years: he reigned seven years in Hebron, and in Jerusalem he reigned thirty-three years. 12 Then Solomon sat on the throne of David his father, and his kingdom was securely established.

13 Then Adonijah son of Haggith came to Bath-sheba the mother of Solomon. She said, “Do you come in peace?”

And he said, “[I come in] peace."

14 And he said, "I have something to say to you."

And she said, "Say it."

15 And he said, "You know that the kingdom was going to be mine, and that all Israel had chosen me to be king. But the kingdom has been taken away, and now belongs to my brother, because it was given to him by Yahweh. 16 So now I am asking you for one thing; do not withhold it from me."

And she said to him, "Say it."

17 And he said, "Please tell Solomon the king, because he will not withhold it from you, to give me Abishag the Shunnamite as my wife."

18 And Bath-sheba said, "Very well. I will speak for you to the king."

19 So Bath-sheba went to King Solomon to speak to him for Adonijah. The king rose to meet her, and bowed down to her, and sat down on his throne, and had a throne set down for the mother of the king, and she sat to his right. 20 And she said, "One small favor I ask of you; do refuse it to me."

And the king said to her, "Ask me, my mother, because I will not refuse your request."

21 And she said, "Let Abishag the Shunnamite be given to Adonijah your brother as his wife."

22 King Solomon replied to his mother, "Why would you request Abishag the Shunnamite for Adonijah? You may as well request the whole kingdom for him, and for Abiathar the priest, and for Joab son of Zeruiah!"

23 Then King Solomon swore by Yahweh, "May God punish me ever so severely[11] if Adonijah does not die for what he has said![12] 24 Therefore, by Yahweh's life, who has established me and set me on the throne of David my father, and who has strengthened my kingdom[13] just as he promised, I swear that Adonijah will be killed today!" 25 King Solomon sent out[14] Benaiah son of Jehoiada, and he killed him.

26 And the king said to Abiathar the priest, "Go to Anathoth, to your own fields, because you deserve to die.[15] But today I will not kill you, because you carried the ark of Lord Yahweh in front of David my father, and because you shared completely in my father's sufferings."

27 So Solomon expelled Abiathar from the priesthood of Yahweh, to fulfill what Yahweh had said about the household of Eli in Shiloh.

28 The news of this reached Joab, because Joab had supported Adonijah, although he had not supported Absalom. So Joab fled to the Tabernacle[16] of Yahweh, and seized the horns of the altar. 29 It was reported to King Solomon that Joab had fled to the Tabernacle[17] of Yahweh and was there by the altar. So Solomon sent Benaiah son of Jehoiada, and said, "Go kill him."

30 Benaiah came to the Tabernacle[18] of Yahweh, and said to him, "The king says, 'Come out!'"

He said, "No. I will die here."

Benaiah returned a message to the king: "This is how Joab replied to me."

31 The king said to him, "Do just as he said. Kill him and bury him, to turn away[19] the innocent blood which Joab shed from me and from my father's kingdom.[20] 32 Yahweh will return his bloodshed back onto his own head, because he attacked two men better and more decent than himself, and killed them violently,[21] without the knowledge of my father David: Abner son of Ner, leader of the army of Israel, and Amasa son of Jether, leader of the army of Judah. 33 Their blood will return on the head of Joab, and on the head of his descendants forever. But for David, and for his descendants, and for his household, and for his throne, there will be peace forever from Yahweh.

34 So Benaiah son of Jehoiada went up and attacked him, and killed him. He was buried in his own house, in the wilderness. 35 Then the king gave his position overseeing the army to Benaiah. And the king replaced Abiathar with Zadok the priest.

36 Then the king summoned Shimei, and said to him, "Build yourself a house in Jerusalem and stay there, and do not leave there to go anywhere else. 37 If you do, on the day that you leave and cross the wady Kidron, know for certain that you will die. Your death will be your own fault."[22]

38 Shimei said to the king, "That is fair. Therefore your servant will do just as my lord the king has commanded." So Shimei stayed in Jerusalem many days.

39 Three years later, two of Shimei's slaves ran away to Achish son of Maachah, king of Gath, and it was reported to Shimei: "Your slaves are in Gath." 40 Shimei got up and saddled his donkey, and went to Gath, to Achish, to look for his slaves. Shimei went, and brought his slaves from Gath. 41 It was reported to Solomon that Shimei gone from Jerusalem to Gath, and had returned.

42 The king sent a messenger and summoned Shimei. He said to him, "Did I not make you swear by Yahweh, and warn you, 'On the day that you leave for anywhere else, know for certain you will die'? And you said to me, 'The sentence I have heard is fair.' 43 So why have you not kept your oath by Yahweh, and the command that I gave you?"

44 And the king said to Shimei, "You know all the evil, that you are aware of, that you did to David my father. Now Yahweh will return your evil on your own head. 45 But King Solomon will be blessed, and the throne of David will be secure before Yahweh forever." 46 So the king gave the order to Benaiah son of Jehoiada, and he went out and attacked him, and he died.

And the kingdom was secure in Solomon's hand.

Chapter 3[edit]

1 Solomon married into the family of Pharaoh, king of Egypt, by taking the daughter of Pharaoh. He brought her to the city of David, until he had finished building his own house and the house of Yahweh, and the wall surrounding Jerusalem. 2 In that time, the people made sacrifices at the shrines,[23] as long as there was no house yet built for the name of Yahweh. 3 Solomon loved Yahweh, following the instructions of David his father. However, he sacrificed and burnt incense at the shrines.[23] 4 The king went to Gibeon to sacrifice there, because it was a major shrine.[23] Solomon offered a thousand burnt offerings[24] on that altar. 5 At Gibeon Yahweh appeared to Solomon in a night dream, and God said, "Ask. What should I give you?"

6 Solomon said, "You have acted with great loyalty toward your servant David, my father, just as he walked before you with faithfulness, with righteousness, with a sincere mind toward you. You have maintained this great loyalty for him by giving him a son to sit on the throne, as it is today. 7 And now, Yahweh my god, you have made your servant king after David his father. Yet I am a little child: I do not know what I am doing.[25] 8 Your servant is among a people whom you have chosen, a numerous people, too numerous to be measured or counted. 9 So give your servant an understanding mind to rule your people, to know right from wrong, because who has the ability to rule over your massive people?" 10 And what he said pleased the Lord, that Solomon had asked for this thing.

11 So God said to him, "Because you asked for this thing, and did not request a long life for yourself, and did not ask for wealth, and did not ask for the death of your enemies, but instead asked for discernment, to understand justice; 12 therefore I will give you what you proposed. Indeed, I will give you a wise and discerning mind, so that there will have been no one like you before, and afterwards no one like you will arise. 13 In addition, I will give you what you did not request: wealth and honor, so that not a single king will equal you all your days. 14 If you walk in my paths, to keep my regulations and my commandments, as your father David walked, I will lengthen your life."

15 Solomon awakened and realized it had been a dream. Then he went to Jerusalem, and stood in front of the ark of the covenant of the Lord, and sent up burnt offerings[24], and made peace-offerings,[26] and held a feast for all his servants.

16 Then two prostitutes came to the king and stood before him. 17 And the one woman said, "If it please my lord, I and this woman live in the same house, and I gave birth to a child with her in the house. 18 On the third day after I gave birth, she also gave birth. We were together, and there was no stranger with us in the house. Just the two of us were in the house. 19 This woman's son died at night when she slept on it. 20 Then she woke up in the middle of the night, and took my child from beside me, as your servant was sleeping, and laid it next to her, and laid her dead child next to me. 21 I rose in the morning to nurse my child, and saw that it was dead, but when I had thought about it in the morning I saw that it was not my child which I had given birth to."

22 And the other woman said, "No! The living one is my son, and your son is the dead one!"

And the first one said, "No! Your son is dead and my son is alive!" So they spoke before the king.

23 The king said, "This one says, 'This is my living son, and your son is dead.' And that one says, 'No, your son is dead and mine is alive.'"

24 Then the king said, "Bring me a knife." And they brought a knife before the king. 25 And the king said, "Cut the living child in two, and give one half to each."

26 Then the mother of the living child said to the king — because she felt strongly about the child — she said, "If it please my lord, give her the living child, and do not kill it!"

But the other one said, "Let it belong to neither of us. Divide it."

27 The king replied, "Give her the living child, and do not kill it. She is its mother."

28 And all Israel heard about the judgment which the king had made, and they feared the king, because they saw that the wisdom of God was within him for rendering judgment.

Chapter 4[edit]

1 Now King Solomon was king over all Israel. 2 And these were his commanders: Azariah son of Zadok the priest; 3 Elihoreph and Ahijah, sons of Shisha, scribes; Jehoshaphat son of Ahilud, the recorder; 4 and Benaiah son of Jehoiada, in charge of the army; and Zadok and Abiathar, priests; 5 and Azariah son of Nathan, in charge of the officers; and Zabud son of Nathan, a priest, friend of the king; 6 and Ahishar, in charge of the [royal] household; and Adoniram son of Abda, in charge of the forced labor.

7 And Solomon had twelve officers over all Israel, who provided food for the king and his household. For a month each year each one would provide. 8 And these are their names: Ben-Hur, in the hill-country of Ephraim; 9 Ben-Deker, in Makaz, and in Shaalbim, and in Beth Shemesh and Elon Beth Hanan; 10 Ben-Hesed, in Aruboth (Sochoh and all the land of Hepher were [assigned] to him); 11 Ben-Abinadab, all of Naphath Dor (Taphath daughter of Solomon was his wife); 12 Baana son of Ahilud, Taanach and Megiddo, and all Beth Shean, which is by Zarthanah beneath Jezreel, from Beth Shean, to Abel Meholah, to the other side of Jokmeam; 13 Ben-Geber, in Ramoth Gilead (his were the towns of Jair son of Manasseh which were in Gilead, his was the territory of Argob which was in the Bashan, sixty large cities with walls and bolts of brass); 14 Ahinadab son of Iddo, Mahanaim; 15 Ahimaaz, in Naphtali (he also took Basemath daughter of Solomon as his wife); 16 Baana son of Hushai, in Asher and in Aloth; 17 Jehosphat son of Paruah, in Issachar; 18 Shimei son of Ela, in Benjamin; 19 Geber son of Uri, in the land of Gilead, the land of Sihon king of the Amorites, and Og king of the Bashan; there was one officer in the land.

21 Solomon ruled over all the kingdoms from the river Euphrates, to the Philistine land, and as far as the border of Egypt. They brought tribute and served Solomon all the days of his life. 22 Solomon's provision for one day was thirty kor[27] of fine flour and thirty kor of meal; 23 ten fattened oxen, twenty pastured oxen, and one hundred sheep;[28] besides stags, gazelles, fallow deer, and fattened geese; 24 because he had control of everything west of the Euphrates from Tiphsah to Gaza, and over all the kings west of the Euphrates. He had peace on every side. 25 Judah and Israel lived in safety, each man under his vine and under his fig tree, from Dan to Beer Sheba, all the days of Solomon.

26 Solomon had forty thousand stalls of horses for his chariots, and twelve thousand riders. 27 These officers provided food for Solomon, and for everyone who came to King Solomon's table. Each one had his month; they had no shortage of anything. 28 And they brought barley and straw for the horses and thoroughbreds to the place where he was, each in his appointed order. 29 God gave wisdom to Solomon, and exceedingly great discernment, and broad understanding, like the sand which is on the seashore. 30 The wisdom of Solomon was greater than the wisdom of all the people of the East, and all the wisdom of Egypt. 31 He was wiser than any human being, wiser than Ethan the Ezrahite, and wiser than Heman, Kalkol, and Darda, the sons of Mahol. He was famous in all the surrounding nations. 32 He spoke three thousand proverbs, and [authored] one thousand and five songs. 33 He spoke about trees, from the cedar which is in Lebanon to the hyssop growing from a wall. He spoke of livestock, and birds, and crawling animals, and fishes. 34 People of all nations came to hear the wisdom of Solomon, from all the kings of the earth who had heard of his wisdom.

Chapter 5-22[edit]

[These chapters aren't done yet. Feel free to work on them.]


  1. The Hebrew word translated here as "sheep" is tson, which can refer to both sheep and goats.
  2. The word translated here as sheep is tson, which can include both sheep and goats.
  3. The word translated here as "sheep" is tson, a word which can refer to both sheep and goats.
  4. An idiomatic way of speaking about his upcoming death.
  5. Literally, the verse reads, Do according to your wisdom, and do not let his grey hair go down to the netherworld in peace.
  6. still alive: literally, is with you
  7. put you to death: literally, kill you by knife
  8. Kill the old man violently: literally, Bring down his grey hair with blood to the netherworld."
  9. passed away to be with his ancestors: literally, slept with his fathers.
  10. David’s time as king: literally, And the days which David reigned
  11. punish me ever so severely: literally, do so to me, and so may he do more
  12. if Adonijah does not die for what he has said: literally, that Adonijah has spoken this thing against his own life.
  13. strengthened my kingdom: literally, made for me a house
  14. sent out: literally, sent by the hand of
  15. you deserve to die: literally, you are a dead man
  16. Tabernacle: literally, tent.
  17. Tabernacle: literally, tent.
  18. Tabernacle: literally, tent.
  19. In biblical terms, the shedding of innocent blood was thought to create a dangerous condition of impurity in the land, which could bring down divine judgment. Punishing the guilty removed this impurity. The king is instructing Benaiah to "turn away" the innocent blood through revenge against, so that the Davidic kingdom would no longer hold responsibility for the murder Joab had carried out when he was a general under David.
  20. kingdom: literally, house.
  21. violently: literally, by dagger
  22. Your death will be your own fault. Literally, Your blood will be on your head.
  23. 23.0 23.1 23.2 shrines: these are the cultic locations often translated as "high places." "Shrines" more accurately captures the meaning of the Hebrew bamot
  24. 24.0 24.1 The Hebrew word olot, generally translated as "burnt offerings," refers to a specific kind of animal sacrifice in which the animal was burned completely, and no parts were to be eaten by the supplicants. Literally speaking, an olah (the singular form) is a "going-up" offering, in reference to the idea that the entire animal "goes up" in smoke. Thus, one "sends up" the food in the form of a delicious odor to God.
  25. I do not know what I am doing. Literally, I do not know going out or coming in.
  26. "Peace offerings," sometimes translated "fellowship offerings" (Hebrew shelamim) are a particular form of sacrifice described in detail in Leviticus 3
  27. The kor was an ancient unit of measure by volume. According to the 1915 International Standard Bible Encyclopedia, it was equivalent to about 90 gallons.
  28. The Hebrew word tson, which includes both sheep and goats.