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1 Kings 1:50--2:1

1:50 Adonijah feared Solomon, so he got up and went and grabbed hold of the horns of the altar. 1  1:51 Solomon was told, “Look, Adonijah fears you; 2  see, he has taken hold of the horns of the altar, saying, ‘May King Solomon solemnly promise 3  me today that he will not kill his servant with the sword.’” 1:52 Solomon said, “If he is a loyal subject, 4  not a hair of his head will be harmed, but if he is found to be a traitor, 5  he will die.” 1:53 King Solomon sent men to bring him down 6  from the altar. He came and bowed down to King Solomon, and Solomon told him, “Go home.” 7 

David’s Final Words to Solomon

2:1 When David was close to death, 8  he told 9  Solomon his son:

1 sn Grabbed hold of the horns of the altar. The “horns” of the altar were the horn-shaped projections on the four corners of the altar (see Exod 27:2). By going to the holy place and grabbing hold of the horns of the altar, Adonijah was seeking asylum from Solomon.

2 tn Heb “King Solomon.” The name and title have been replaced by the pronoun (“you”) in the translation for stylistic reasons.

3 tn Or “swear an oath to.”

4 tn Heb “if he is a man of strength [or ability].” In this context, where Adonijah calls himself a “servant,” implying allegiance to the new king, the phrase אִישׁ חַיִל (’ish khayil) probably carries the sense of “a worthy man,” that is, “loyal” (see HALOT 311 s.v. חַיִל).

5 tn Heb “but if evil is found in him.”

6 tn Heb “sent and they brought him down.”

7 tn Heb “Go to your house.”

8 tn Heb “and the days of David approached to die.”

9 tn Or “commanded.”

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