Before we get to the content of I Kings 1 we should get to the context of I and II Kings in totality. I and II Kings were originally a single book of the Bible but in the 15th century they were separated probably because a single book this long was too unwieldy for the scribes to be able to handle it completely. It begins with the ending of the protagonist of I and II Samuel who is King David. There is some thought that the prophet Jeremiah was the one who had written this book of the Bible and that it was written around the time of King Josiah around 620 BC. Remember, King David ruled around 1,000 BC. Josiah was the one who spearheaded the reforms which included ensuring that the Word of God and the history of the people be written down for posterity sake. It could have been written as a result of this edict.
These books of the Bible contain the very good and the very bad times in the nation of Israel. From the single or united monarchy under Solomon to its division into a Northern and Southern Kingdom with the people doing their own thing and turning their back on God. The god Baal becomes prevalent throughout this writing as the Israelites turn their back repeatedly and on God's chosen one to rule them. But let's get to the first chapter.
This past Sunday I preached in II Chronicles how God promised Solomon that if the people of Israel obeyed that there would never be a problem in finding a successor for Israel. Here we have Solomon who is made king of Israel but in the midst of a mess that his mother and his father's prophet had to sort out. Another of David's sons, Adonijah, had placed himself as the next in line and had gathered his allies to ensure that it would take place. David's prophet, Nathan (the one who told David, You're the man! after accusing him of treason for sleeping with Bathsheba), catches wind of it and they are able to get Solomon crowned before much damage is done. But it was close.
King David was really old, vs.1, and so time was running out. Nathan came up with a plan and it worked exactly as they wanted. Solomon had every right to kill those who had tried to take the throne away from him, but he seems to have mercy and tells his half-brother to go home. He forgave him but had him assure him that he was a good man and that he would not cause any more trouble. Solomon's time to reign is about to begin. David is still alive so we have to see what happens from the time that Solomon is anointed and from the time he actually rules. Remember David was anointed years before he began his rule as Saul still reigned. That caused a little friction, but Saul was in good health. We don't expect the same here.