1 Kings 2:13-25
Remember in chapter 1 that Solomon promised Adonijah could live if he behaved? Well, after David’s death, Adonijah asked if he could have one of King David’s concubines as a wife. Now rather than going to Solomon and asking himself, he asks Solomon’s mother, Bathsheba, to ask for him. Bathsheba doesn’t see this as a bad request so she goes and asks Solomon on Adonijah’s behalf. Knowing Adonijah’s true intent, Solomon becomes angry. Concubines of one king are the property of the next. If Solomon lets Adonijah have her as his wife then Adonijah will have “property” that gives him a rightful claim to the throne. Adonijah is scheming to find a way to take over!! Solomon immediately takes action and has him executed. Adonijah had been warned that he must prove himself. Solomon will not tolerate rebellion. His reaction may seem harsh, but Adonijah knew what he was doing and Solomon had to show that he will not allow misbehavior.
Solomon’s punishment was harsh, but Adonijah knew what he was doing and had been warned. Does that make a difference? Should the punishment be harsher when the person knows what they are doing is wrong and they do it anyway?