1 Kings 1

Solomon's Anointing


And they found Abishag the Shunammite and brought her to the king (1 Kings 1:3).

The appellative “Shunammite” indicates that Abishag was from the town of Shunem. The ancient site of Shunem is identified with the modern Arab village of Sulam/Sulem. It is situated in the Harod Valley on the south of the Hill of Moreh. The border between Issachar to the north and Manasseh to the south appears to have passed along the Harod Valley, placing Shunem, the Hill of Moreh, and Nain in the territory of Issachar (Josh 19:18).

The Serpent's Stone

And Adonijah sacrificed sheep, oxen, and fattened cattle by the Serpent’s Stone, which is beside En-rogel (1 Kings 1:9).

The identity of the “Serpent’s Stone” (Heb. even hazoḥeleth) is now lost to us, but its association with the spring of En-rogel provides an approximate location. En-rogel is located at the confluence of the Kidron and Hinnom valleys, about 450 yards (410 m) south of the ancient city of Jerusalem. This American Colony photograph of En-rogel was taken between 1900 and 1920.


Officials of Judah

And he invited all his brethren, the king’s sons, and all the men of Judah, the king’s officials (1 Kings 1:9).

This photo shows bullae (clay seal impressions of an official document) and seals from the early 6th centuries BC that were found in Jerusalem. While these bullae and seals date to a later phase of the Iron Age II than the time of David and Solomon, they are clear evidence of both Judahite princes and officials, as well as official/royal writing that took place in Jerusalem during the Iron Age II.


“Zadok the priest and Nathan the prophet have anointed him king at Gihon” (1 Kings 1:45).

This view looks up the Kidron Valley toward the Gihon Spring. The eastern slope of the City of David is on the left, while the Mount of Olives is visible in the distance at the upper right. The eastern slope is the best place to see ancient remains in the City of David because of modern construction elsewhere. Unfortunately, the lack of reconstruction makes it difficult to identify the remains from various periods.

Horns of the Altar

Now Adonijah feared Solomon, so he arose and went and caught hold of the horns of the altar (1 Kings 1:50).

Levitical law required that the altar of the tabernacle to be built with four horns (Lev 4:7), which were used for various sacrificial activities including the “binding of the festal sacrifice” (Ps 118:27). Most altars from antiquity that have been recovered (both sacrificial and incense) have had four horns. This 1:1 model of the portable tabernacle altar was photographed at the model in the Timna Valley in southern Israel.

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