So David is old now and he’s dying. He’s cold all the time, so his men decide the best course of action is to get him a nice thirteen, fourteen year old girl to sleep in his bed and “keep him warm.” So they found a young teen they thought was hot and brought her to the king, so she served him and slept in his bed, but the text says David never got it on with her.
One of David’s sons realizes that his old man is dying, so he starts to maneuver himself politically to be the next king. He gets his own entourage to look important, like the king’s successor, and David doesn’t stop him. The kid conspires with Joab and Abiathar the priest and they agree to help him be the next king, but a bunch of David’s other court officials don’t like the kid.
So Adonijah, the would-be king, sacrifices a bunch of cows and sheep to Yahweh, which… seriously, can anyone just kill an animal for God? I thought they needed a Levitical priest and had to go to God’s tent to do that. But the kicker is that Adonijah doesn’t invite his brother Solomon or the court officials that don’t back him.
This means Solomon is probably going to die if his brother becomes king, so Bathsheba gets involved.
Bathsheba: Hey, ‘husband’… remember when, after you raped me and killed my former husband and then married me and pissed off God so he killed our first child, you promised me that Solomon would be king after you? Yeah, your other son Adonijah is plotting to take that position and kill Solomon, so you should probably do something about that.
Then Nathan comes in and asks: Did you make Adonijah king after you? Because he’s throwing a coronation party and they’re all saying he’s the new king.
David: Alright, alright… I get it. Call Zadok the priest and Nathan anoint Solomon as king over Israel. He will sit on my throne.
So they did so, and had Solomon ride on David’s mule, and they blew a trumpet and everyone said, “Long live King Solomon!” And they had a bigger coronation party. So much so that the guys at Adonijah’s coronation party hear the ruckus and wonder what’s going on, before a messenger arrives to let them know that Adonijah’s political move failed and Solomon is king.
Suddenly everyone at his coronation party remembers that they have a prior engagement and leave. Adonijah goes to God’s tent and grabs on to the horns of the altar and refuses to budge unless Solomon promises he will let him live.
Solomon: Stop being a dick, and I’ll let you live. Now go home.
David: Okay, kid, I’m dying. Here’s my advice to you. First, try and make God happy. Trust me on this one. God gets all sort of smitey when you don’t.
Alright, now it’s time for me to settle some scores…
Kill Joab. Sure, he was my right hand guy, a good general, loyal to the point where he obeyed my order to murder a close friend to me, but he, uh, criticized me for mourning… I mean, he totally killed a couple of guys. Now, I could have punished him for those crimes, but he was useful to me, but not any longer. Go ahead and kill him for daddy, son.
Be nice to the sons of Barzillai, they helped me when I was on the run from your brother.
Oh, and do something about that guy who cursed me, Shimei? I promised not to kill him, but I didn’t promise that YOU wouldn’t kill him for me, so do something about that guy too, eh? Cool? We’re good? Okay, and I’m dead…
Eh, don’t worry though, we’ve still got like 2,000,000,000 of his songs to read through later.
But Adonijah isn’t quite done playing politics, so he goes to Bathsheba and tells her that he’s supposed to be king, but everything was taken away from him, but he’d like a favor from her. He wants to take his dead dad’s last child bride and marry her. So Bathsheba presents his request to Solomon who gets angry, because there’s some unwritten rule that if you commit pedophilia with the dead king’s child bride, you get the throne or something… so Solomon has his brother killed.
Then Solomon calls in Abiathar the priest and banishes him. He was the priest conspiring with Adonijah, but Solomon doesn’t want to risk making God mad by killing His priests.
Then Joab hears that the jig is up for him and David wanted him dead, so he goes to God’s tent and seizes the horns of the altar. Joab refuses to come out, so Solomon still orders his execution in God’s tent at the altar. And Joab dies.
Solomon: Thus his blood is on his own head because he killed two good people without cause, so he deserved to die, and his descendants deserve a blood curse from God, but my father (who only killed one man, one of his most loyal best friends and escaped execution) only deserves blessings and honor from God forever! What? Why are you all looking at me like that?
And the last man that pissed off David is Shimei. Solomon puts him in Jerusalem and sets a boundary for him, that if he crosses it, he will be executed. So Shimei agrees and lives in Jerusalem for three years until some of his slaves run away from him and he goes to fetch them. So Solomon orders him executed and has fulfilled all of David’s personal grudges with blood.
Solomon forms an alliance with Egypt and marries Pharaoh’s daughter. Solomon loved Yahweh, except he sacrificed to Yahweh at the high places, which the writer of the bible remembers is forbidden, even though Samuel did it like all the time.
But God is impressed with Solomon’s piety and asks him to make a wish.
Solomon: I want wisdom so I can be a good ruler.
God: Cool, because you acted now, I’ll also throw in long life, wealth, and military victories for free!
And so we move on to the dispute we all learned of in Sunday School, where two women come to King Solomon both claiming to be the mother of a newborn infant. Ah, but Solomon knows all the TV Tropes and tells the soldiers to cut the little infant in half and let each woman claim a piece, thus revealing the true mother and letting Solomon know that his soldiers will totally kill an innocent baby for him.
And everyone marveled and said, “Man, that guy’s smart!”
There’s a list of Solomon’s cabinet and a bunch of verses letting us know that Solomon was loaded and that he spent a lot of time inventing proverbs and making music and everyone was so impressed by him that they came from all over the world just to hear him speak.
At this point, Sol can’t possibly be more of a Mary Sue even if the Enterprise was to beam him aboard and everyone spent the next 400 pages telling him how totes cool and sexy he is.