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Bible Dictionaries

Fausset's Bible Dictionary


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(See ABIATHAR) and ABSALOM). Means "My Lord is Jehovah", or, "Jah my Father".

1. Fourth son of David, by Haggith, born at Hebron. Very goodly in looks, like Absalom. Foolishly indulged by his father, who "had not displeased him at any time in saying, Why hast thou done so?" Never crossed when young, he naturally expected to have his own way when old; and took it, to his father's grief in his old age, and to his own destruction. Compare Proverbs 13:24; Proverbs 22:6; "Train up a child in the way he should go;" not in the way he would go: 1 Kings 1:6. When David was seemingly too old to offer energetic resistance, Adonijah as now the oldest son, about 35 years old (compare 2 Samuel 3:2-4 with 2 Samuel 5:5), Amnon, Chileab, and Absalom being dead, claimed the throne, in defiance of God's expressed will, and David's oath to Bathsheba that Solomon should inherit the throne (1 Chronicles 22:9-10). Like Absalom (2 Samuel 15:1) he assumed regal state, with chariots, horsemen, and 50 men to run before him (2 Kings 1; 2).

Nathan the prophet, Zadok (Eleazar's descendant, and so of the older line of priesthood), Benaiah son of Jehoiada, captain of the king's guard, Shimei and Rei (or Shimma, Raddai), David's own brothers, supported Solomon. Adonijah was supported by Abiathar, Eli's descendant of Ithamar's (Aaron's fourth son's) line, the junior line, and Joab who perhaps had a misgiving as to the possibility of Solomon's punishing his murder of Abner and Amasa, and a grudge toward David for having appointed the latter commander in chief in his stead (2 Samuel 19:13). Adonijah had also invited to a feast by the stone Zoheleth at En-rogel all the king's sons except Solomon, and the captains of the host, the king's servants, of Judah. A meeting for a religious purpose, such as that of consecrating a king, was usually held near a fountain, which En-rogel was. Nathan and Bathsheba foiled his plot by inducing David to have Solomon conducted in procession on the king's mule to Gihon, a spring W. of Jerusalem (2 Chronicles 32:30).

Upon his being anointed and proclaimed by Zadok, all the people hailed him, God save the king! Adonijah's party, surprised suddenly amidst their feasting, typify sinners' carnal security, from which the Lord's coming suddenly shall startle them to their destruction (Matthew 24:48; Luke 12:45; 1 Thessalonians 5:2-3; compare 1 Kings 1:49). Adonijah, at the tidings announced by Jonathan, Abiathar's son, fled for sanctuary, to the horns of the altar. Solomon would have spared him had he shown himself "a worthy man." But on David's death he, through the queen mother Bathsheba, now exalted to Special dignity, sought Abishag, David's virgin widow, to be given him, a contemplated incest only second to that perpetrated by Absalom, whom he so much resembled, and also a connection which was regarded in the East as tantamount to a covert claim to the deceased monarch's throne. (See ABNER and (See ABSALOM.) Benaiah dispatched him.

2. A Levite in Jehoshaphat's reign (2 Chronicles 17:8), sent with the princes to teach the book of the law throughout Judah.

3. Nehemiah 10:16, called Adonikam in Ezra 2:13, whose children were 666 (compare Revelation 13:18, the numerical mark of the beast), Revelation 8:13; Nehemiah 7:18; Nehemiah 10:16, but 667 in Nehemiah 7:18.

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Bibliography Information
Fausset, Andrew R. Entry for 'Adonijah'. Fausset's Bible Dictionary. 1949.

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