1 Kings 1:1-5, 11-18, 29-31

1 Kings 1:1-5, 11-18, 29-31
A Women’s Lectionary – Proper 25


KingI DavidII was oldIII and advancedIV in years,V

Notes on verse 1a

I “King” = melek. From malak (to be or become king or queen, to rise to the throne, to be crowned; by implication, to take counsel). This is king or royal.
II “David” = David. From the same as dod (beloved, love, uncle); the root may mean to boil, which is used figuratively to describe love. So, this implies someone you love such as a friend, a lover, or a close family member like an uncle. David’s name likely means something like “beloved one.”
III “was old” = zaqen. From the same as zaqan (beard or chin – the beard represents old age). This is to be old or grow old.
IV “advanced” = bo. This is to enter, come in, advance, fulfill, bring offerings, enter to worship, attack. It can also have a sexual connotation.
V “years” = yom. Root may mean being hot. This is the day in a literal or figurative sense. It can also mean birth, age, daylight, continually or other references to time.

and although they coveredVI him with clothes,VII he could not get warm.VIII 

Notes on verse 1b

VI “covered” = kasah. This is to cover, conceal, overwhelm. It is to cover as clothes do or to hide a secret.
VII “clothes” = beged. From bagad (to cover or conceal; figuratively, to act in a covert or treacherous way, to transgress or pillage). This is clothing, garment, robe, or some other kind of clothing. Figuratively, it can be treachery or pillaging.
VIII “get warm” = yacham. 10x in OT. This is to be hot, mate. It is figuratively, to conceive.

So his servantsIX said to him, “Let a youngX virginXI be soughtXII for my lordXIII the king,

Notes on verse 2a

IX “servants” = ebed. From abad (to work, serve, compel; any kind of work; used causatively, can mean to enslave or keep in bondage). This is a servant, slave, or bondservant.
X “young” = naarah. From naar (child or a servant; a child in their active years so they could be aged anywhere from infancy to adolescence); perhaps from naar (to shake, toss up and down, tumble around). This is a girl or young lady ranging anywhere in age from infancy to adolescence.
XI “virgin” = betulah. This is virgin, maiden, or bride. Can also be used figuratively for a place.
XII “sought” = baqash. This is to seek, ask, desire, or request. It can be any kind of searching. It can also mean to worship or pray – implies a striving for.
XIII “lord” = adon. From a root that means ruling or being sovereign. This is lord, master, or owner.

and let her waitXIV onXV the king and beXVI his attendant;XVII let her lieXVIII in your bosom,XIX so that my lord the king may be warm.”XX 

Notes on verse 2b

XIV “wait” = amad. This is to stand up in a literal or figurative sense. So it can be establish, continue, endure, take a stand, act, be a servant, stand still, remain, stand against an enemy.
XV “on” = paneh. From panah (to turn, face, appear). This is face in a literal or figurative sense. It could be face, presence, anger, respect. It can also be used of God to indicate divine favor or presence.
XVI “be” = hayah. This is to be or become, to happen.
XVII “attendant” = sakan. 12x in OT. This is being customary, of use, of acquainted with.
XVIII “lie” = shakab. This is to lie down, lodge. It is lying for sleep, sex, or other reasons.
XIX “bosom” = cheq. Root may mean to enclose. This is bosom in a literal or figurative sense. So, this could be arms, lap, or midst. It can also be care or cherish.
XX “be warm” = chamam. 13x in OT. This is to be warm, heat. It is to be hot in a literal or figurative sense. It can also mean to mate or lust after.

So they searchedXXI for a beautifulXXII young womanXXIII throughout allXXIV the territoryXXV

Notes on verse 3a

XXI “searched” = baqash. Same as “sought” in v2. See note XII above.
XXII “beautiful” = yapheh. From yaphah (to be beautiful, decorate; root means being bright, which implies being beautiful). This is beautiful in a literal or figurative sense – appropriate, handsome, godly, pleasant.
XXIII “young woman” = naarah. Same as “young” in v2. See note X above.
XXIV “all” = kol. From kalal (to complete). This is all or every.
XXV “territory” = gebul. Perhaps from gabal (to border, twist like rope). This is boundary, limit, coast, space. Properly, it is a line that is twisted, which implies a boundary and, by extension, the boundaries of a territory or other enclosed space.

of IsraelXXVI and foundXXVII AbishagXXVIII the ShunammiteXXIX and broughtXXX her to the king. 

Notes on verse 3b

XXVI “Israel” = Yisrael. From sarah (to persist, exert oneself, contend, persevere, wrestle, prevail) + el (God or god). This is Israel, meaning God strives or one who strives with God; new name for Jacob and for his offspring. This refers to the people and to the land.
XXVII “found” = matsa. This is to find, catch or acquire. It can also mean to come forth or appear. Figuratively, this can mean to meet or be together with.
XXVIII “Abishag” = Abishag. 5x in OT. From ab (father, ancestor, grandfather; father in a literal or figurative sense) + shagah (to go astray, wander, mislead, sin; to reel as if drunk; figuratively being enraptured). This is Abishag, meaning “my father is a wanderer” or “father of error.”
XXIX “Shunammite” = Shunammit. 8x in OT. From Shunem (Shunem, a city meaning “uneven” or “two resting places” or “quietly”); probably from the same as Shuni (Shuni, a name; root may mean to rest or to quiet); from sha’an (be quiet, relaxed, not disturbed) or from shanan (to sharpen by breaking apart as when one sharpens a blade; to point or pierce; fig. increasing mental astuteness, teach) or from shana (to change, repeat). This is a female resident of Shunam. See https://www.abarim-publications.com/Meaning/Shunem.html
XXX “brought” = bo. Same as “advanced” in v1. See note IV above.

The young woman was veryXXXI beautiful. She becameXXXII the king’s attendant and servedXXXIII him, but the king did not know her sexually.XXXIV

Notes on verse 4

XXXI “very” = meod. Perhaps from the same as uwd (firebrand, a poker). This is very, greatly, exceedingly. It can also mean vehemence, force, abundance.
XXXII “became” = hayah. Same as “be” in v2. See note XVI above.
XXXIII “served” = sharat. This is ministering, serving, or waiting on. It can refer to one offering service as a worshipper or one serving as a servant.
XXXIV “know…sexually” = yada. This is to know, acknowledge, advise, answer, be aware, be acquainted with. Properly, this is to figure something out by seeing. It includes ideas of observation, recognition, and care about something. It can be used causatively for instruction, designation, and punishment.

Now AdonijahXXXV sonXXXVI of HaggithXXXVII exaltedXXXVIII himself,

Notes on verse 5a

XXXV “Adonijah” = Adoniyyahu. Related to “lord” and “be” in v2. From adon (see note XIII above) + Yah (the shortened form of the name of the God of Israel; God, Lord); {from YHVH (proper name of the God of Israel; God, Lord; the self-existent or eternal one); from havah (to become) or hayah (see note XVI above)}}. This is Adonijah or Adoniyyahu, meaning “my lord is the Lord” or “worshipper of the Lord.”  
XXXVI “son” = ben. From banah (to build or obtain children). This is son, age, child. It is son in a literal or figurative sense.
XXXVII “Haggith” = Chaggith. 5x in OT. From Chaggi (Haggi or Chaggi, meaning “festal” “exultation,” or “festive”); from chag (a feast, a sacrifice as part of a festival, or the gathering of the festival); from chagag (feast, celebrating a festival, making a pilgrimage; properly, going in a circle or marching in sacred procession; implies giddiness and dancing; reeling to and fro). This is Haggith or Chaggith, meaning “festal” or “fedtive.” See https://www.abarim-publications.com/Meaning/Haggi.html
XXXVIII “exalted” = nasa. This is to lift in a broad sense, literally and figuratively. So it could be to carry, take, or arise. It could also be bring forth, advance, accept.

saying, “I will be king.”XXXIX He preparedXL for himself chariotsXLI and horsemen,XLII

Notes on verse 5b

XXXIX “be king” = malak. Related to “King” in v1. See note I above.
XL “prepared” = asah. This is to make, do, act, appoint, become in many senses.
XLI “chariots” = rekeb. From rakab (to ride an animal or in some vehicle; also, bringing on a horse). This is a vehicle, wagon, or chariot. It can be cavalry or an individual rider.
XLII “horsemen” = parash. From parash (to make distinct, separate, scatter; can also imply to wound). This is a horse or a person who rides a horse. A chariot driver or cavalry as a collective.

and fiftyXLIII menXLIV to runXLV beforeXLVI him

Notes on verse 5c

XLIII “fifty” = chamishshim. From chamesh (five, fifth). This is fifty.
XLIV “men” = ish. Perhaps from enosh (human, humankind, mortal); from anash (to be weak, sick, or frail). This is man, husband, another, or humankind.
XLV “run” = ruts. This is to run or rush, divide quickly, bring swiftly. It can also refer to a footman or guard.
XLVI “before” = paneh. Same as “on” in v2. See note XV above.

11 Then NathanXLVII said to Bathsheba,XLVIII Solomon’sXLIX mother,L “Have you not heardLI that Adonijah son of Haggith has become king and our lord David does not knowLII it? 

Notes on verse 11

XLVII “Nathan” = Natan. From natan (to give, put, set, offer; to give literally or figuratively). This is Nathan, meaning “given” or “[God] gives.”
XLVIII “Bathsheba” = Bath-sheba. Related to “son” in v5. 11x in OT. From bath (daughter in a literal or figurative sense; can also be branch) {from ben (see note XXXVI above)} + perhaps shaba (to swear, curse, vow, make a covenant; properly, to be complete; this is to seven oneself – as in affirming something so strongly it is as though it were said seven times) {perhaps from sheba (seven – the number of perfection/sacred fullness)}. This is Bathsheba, perhaps meaning “daughter of oath.”
XLIX “Solomon’s” = Shelomoh. From shalam (to be complete or sound; to have safety mentally, physically, or extending to one’s estate; so, if these things are safe and complete, the implication is that one would be friendly; and, if being friendly, one would make amends and that friendship would be reciprocated). This is Solomon or Shelomoh, meaning “peaceful.” It is the same word as the Hebrew word for peace – shalom.
L “mother” = em. This is a mother as binding a family together or a breeding female animal. It could be mother in a literal or figurative sense.
LI “heard” = shama. This is to hear, call, consent, or consider. It implies listening intelligently, giving attention, and, because of these two factors, obedience and action are often implied.
LII “know” = yada. Same as “know…sexually” in v4. See note XXXIV above.

12 Now therefore come,LIII let me giveLIV, LV you advice,LVI so that you may saveLVII your own lifeLVIII and the life of your son Solomon. 

Notes on verse 12

LIII “come” = halak. This is go, come, walk. It is walk literally and figuratively and includes people and animals. It can be used figuratively for one’s moral life – how we walk according to God’s way or against it. It can also refer to the walk of life as in the course one’s life takes, the choices we make, etc.
LIV “give” = yaats. This is to advise, counsel, consult, decide, plan, purpose, or determine. It can also have a negative sense of conspire or devise.
LV {untranslated} = na. This particle is used for requests or for urging. It can be we pray, now, I ask you, oh. This is the same “na” in “hosanna.”
LVI “advice” = etsah. Related to “give” in v12. From yaats (see note LIV above). This is advice, purpose, plan, prudence, or counselor.
LVII “save” = malat. This is to be smooth, which implies to escape as slipping away from. It can also be release, rescue, deliver, or preserve. It can be used specifically to meaning giving birth or making sparks.
LVIII “life” = nephesh. Related to naphash (to refresh or be refreshed). This is soul, self, person, emotion. It is a breathing creature. Can also refer to appetites and desires.

13 GoLIX in at onceLX to King David and say to him, ‘Did you not, my lord the king, swearLXI to your servant,LXII

Notes on verse 13a

LIX “go” = halak. Same as “come” in v12. See note LIII above.
LX “at once” = bo. Same as “advanced” in v1. See note IV above.
LXI “swear” = shaba. Related to “Bathsheba” in v11. See note XLVIII above.
LXII “servant” = amah. This is female servant or slave, handmaid.

saying, “Your son Solomon shall succeed me as king,LXIII and he shall sitLXIV on my throne?LXV WhyLXVI then is Adonijah king?”’ 

Notes on verse 13b

LXIII “succeed…as king” = malak + achar. Malak is the same as “be king” in v5. See note XXXIX above. Achar is from achar (to remain behind, linger, continue, be behind, or delay; can also imply procrastination). This is after or the last part, following.
LXIV “sit” = yashab. This is to sit and so to remain and so to dwell. It is sitting for any reason – as a judge, in order to ambush, or just sitting quietly. Causatively, this can mean settling or marrying. This can also mean continue, endure, or establish.
LXV “throne” = kisse. Related to “covered” in v1. From the same as kese (full moon); perhaps from kasah (see note VI above). This is throne – a seat that is covered or has a canopy. Thus, it is a seat that conveys authority.
LXVI “why” = maddua. Related to “know…sexually” in v4. From mah (what, how long) + yada (see note XXXIV above). This is why or how.

14 ThenLXVII while you are still there speakingLXVIII with the king, I will come inLXIX afterLXX you and confirmLXXI your words.”LXXII

Notes on verse 14

LXVII “then” = hinneh. From hen (lo! Behold! If, though; an expression of surprise). This is to draw attention, show suddenness or surprise, or to emphasize the importance of the coming statement. See! Lo! Behold!
LXVIII “speaking” = dabar. This is generally to speak, answer, declare, or command. It might mean to arrange and so to speak in a figurative sense as arranging words.
LXIX “come in” = bo. Same as “advanced” in v1. See note IV above.
LXX “after” = achar. Same as “succeed…as king” in v13. See note LXIII above.
LXXI “confirm” = male. This is fill, satisfy, replenish, accomplish, fulfill, confirm, or consecrate. It is fill in a literal or figurative sense.
LXXII “words” = dabar. Related to “speaking” in v14. From dabar (see note LXVIII above).

15 So Bathsheba wentLXXIII to the king in his room.LXXIV The king was very old; Abishag the Shunammite was attendingLXXV the king. 16 Bathsheba bowedLXXVI and did obeisanceLXXVII to the king, and the king said, “What do you wish?” 

Notes on verses 15-16

LXXIII “went” = bo. Same as “advanced” in v1. See note IV above.
LXXIV “room” = cheder. From chadar (to surround or enclose; a room as enclosed; also, by analogy, besieging). This is a chamber or room that is private. Can mean the innermost chamber of a house.
LXXV “attending” = sharat. Same as “served” in v4. See note XXXIII above.
LXXVI “bowed” = qadad. 15x in OT. Properly, this means to shrivel up. So it is used for bowing one’s head, bowing down, or stooping. It can be used to show deference.
LXXVII “did obeisance” = shachah. This is to bow down, make a humble entreaty, to do homage to royalty or to God.

17 She said to him, “My lord, you swore to your servantLXXVIII by the LordLXXIX your God,LXXX saying, ‘Your son Solomon shall succeed me as king, and he shall sit on my throne.’ 18 But now suddenlyLXXXI Adonijah has become king, though you, my lordLXXXII the king, do not know it. 

Notes on verses 17-18

LXXVIII “servant” = amah. Same as “servant” in v13. See note LXII above.
LXXIX “Lord” = YHVH. Related to “be” in v2 & “Adonijah” in v5. See note XXXV above.
LXXX “God” = Elohim. Related to “Israel” in v3. See note XXVI above.
LXXXI “suddenly” = hinneh. Same as “then” in v14. See note LXVII above.
LXXXII “lord” = adon. Same as “lord” in v2. See note XIII above.

29 The king swore, saying, “As the LordLXXXIII lives,LXXXIV who has savedLXXXV my life from everyLXXXVI adversity,LXXXVII 

Notes on verse 29

LXXXIII “Lord” = YHVH. Same as “Lord” in v17. See note LXXIX above.
LXXXIV “lives” = chay. From chayah (to live or keep alive literally or figuratively). This is alive, living, lifetime. It can also be used to describe someone’s age. It can refer to animals, plants, water, or a company or congregation of people. It is life in a very broad sense.
LXXXV “saved” = padah. This is to sever, which is to say to ransom. To secure someone’s release (by paying their debt to free them from slavery) and thus redeem, rescue, deliver, preserve. Can also be the redemption price.
LXXXVI “every” = kol. Same as “all” in v3. See note XXIV above.
LXXXVII “adversity” = tsarah. From tsar (properly, a narrow or constricted place; figuratively, trouble, a pebble, an enemy, anguish, or distress); from tsarar (to bind, restrict, narrow, be cramped, an adversary). This is tightness, distress, affliction, trouble, or adversary.

30 as I swore to you by the Lord,LXXXVIII the God of Israel, ‘Your son Solomon shall succeed me as king, and he shall sit on my throne in my place,’LXXXIX soXC will I doXCI this day.”XCII 

Notes on verse 30

LXXXVIII “Lord” = YHVH. Same as “Lord” in v17. See note LXXIX above.
LXXXIX “in…place” = tachat. This is underneath, below, the bottom, instead of.
XC “so” = ken. Perhaps from kun (properly, in a perpendicular position; literally, to establish, fix, fasten, prepare; figuratively, it is certainty, to be firm, faithfulness, render sure or prosperous). This is to set upright. Generally used figuratively to mean thus, so, afterwards, rightly so.
XCI “do” = asah. Same as “prepared” in v5. See note XL above.
XCII “day” = yom. Same as “years” in v1. See note V above.

31 Then Bathsheba bowed with her faceXCIII to the groundXCIV and did obeisance to the king and said, “May my lordXCV King David liveXCVI forever!”XCVII

Notes on verse 31

XCIII “face” = aph. From anaph (to be angry; properly, breathing hard as a signifier of being enraged). This properly refers to the nose or nostril and by extension the face. It can specifically refer to anger or wrath as one breathes hard and nostrils flare in times of great anger.
XCIV “ground” = erets. Root may mean to be firm. This is earth, ground, field land, or country.
XCV “lord” = adon. Same as “lord” in v2. See note XIII above.
XCVI “live” = chayah. Related to “lives” in v29. See note LXXXIV above.
XCVII “forever” = olam. This is a long scope of time whether in the past (antiquity, ancient time) or in the future (eternal, everlasting).

Image credit: “Thou Shalt not Fornicate with Bathsheba” by Henry de Triqueti at the Church of the Madeleine Porte. Photo by Vassil, 2018.

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