David Installs Solomon As Co-Regent
David puts an end to the question of succession by putting Solomon on the throne before his death—in a great and dramatic public display. This practice becomes fairly common among Israelite kings, as we will see later on.
Adonijah is understandably terrified. His "quest for mercy at the bloodstained (Leviticus 4:7, Leviticus 4:18, Leviticus 4:25, Leviticus 4:30) horns of the altar was in keeping with the traditional function of the altar as a haven of refuge for those who had committed unintentional crimes (Exodus 21:12-14)" (Nelson Study Bible, note on verses 50-53). Adonijah's treason, however, is far from unintentional—so the king sends men to remove him from there. Yet, for the time being, Adonijah is spared any punishment—Solomon giving him temporary clemency no doubt out of respect for David. But Solomon's words indicate that there will yet be an evaluation of him. And Adonijah's future actions will demonstrate his real character, as we will see.