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Adonijah and John F. Kennedy
We left off last month in the middle of a verse, so we will quote the whole verse now and continue. King David has died, but not before he makes it clear that Solomon, his son by Bathsheba, is to take his place on the throne. Meanwhile, Adonijah, David’s son by Haggith, has already tried to usurp the throne while David was on his deathbed. But with Solomon now named as successor, Adonijah goes to Bathsheba and is having a discussion with her.
1 Kings 2:15 And he said, Thou knowest that the kingdom was mine, and that all Israel set their faces on me, that I should reign: howbeit the kingdom is turned about, and is become my brother’s: for it was his from the LORD.
Bathsheba thinks: “Oh, so the kingdom justly belonged to you, but the Creator of the universe cheated you out of it, is that the way it is, you conniving, slimy Saul-type?” Now here comes Adonijah’s punch line.
16 And now I ask one petition of thee, deny me not. And she said unto him, Say on.
17 And he said, Speak, I pray thee, unto Solomon the king, (for he will not say thee nay,) that he give me Abishag the Shunammite to wife.
18 And Bathsheba said, Well; I will speak for thee unto the king.
Is this merely an innocent little request? Not at all. Adonijah knew exactly what he was doing. When Absalom attempted his coup d’etat, he took his father’s concubines, remember that? Why did he do that? This is important to understand: Because in the ancient East, to take any of a king’s harem was to announce to the world that you were taking the place of the king.
It was common practice for millennia that when a king died or was replaced that the new king inherited the concubines and in some cases, the wives of the former king. This custom has even been fulfilled in our day and not one in ten thousand people has recognized it for what it is.
Prominent in the libraries of Kennedy assassination conspiracy researchers is a document called The Gemstone Files. I had a copy of the abridged version. I lent it to someone and did not make note of whom I lent it to, so if that person reads this, please send it back to me. Thank you.
Anyhow, don’t quote me on this, because this is strictly from memory. The Gemstone Files is about the Kennedy family. It begins with old Joe Kennedy when he wasn’t so old. As a younger man, back in the days of prohibition, he made the family fortune by bootlegging whisky and other alcoholic products into the United States. In so doing, he made alliances with the Mafia.
Some of you are perhaps aware that the so-called Italian or Sicilian Mafia are actually descendants of Edomites who moved there many centuries ago. And certainly, I am not generalizing here to impugn all Italians and Sicilians. There are many fine and wonderful Italian and Sicilian families, who have no connection with the Mafia. Most don’t. In fact, in addition to having many dear friends of Italian and/or Sicilian ancestry, I am related (by marriage) to a man who is descended from Galileo.
Those of us old enough to remember, recall that at the election of JFK in 1960, it was almost as close as the Bush-Gore race in 2000. Honest historians credit Kennedy’s victory to the vote-rigging arranged by then-Chicago Mayor Richard Daley, Sr. and his Mafia associates. In other words, the mob put Kennedy on the throne.
Then JFK appointed his brother Bobby to be attorney general, and they thought that now they had all the power and so that they could wipe out their unsavory and criminal partners, the Mafia. That’s like the pot calling the kettle black, isn’t it? As though the Kennedys were paragons of morality and virtue!
So Bobby initiated federal investigations of the Mafia and was serious about it. They were trying to send them to prison and put them out of business permanently. (Sarcasm ahead…) For some reason, the Mafia looked upon this as a double-cross by the Kennedys. President John F. Kennedy had signed his own death warrant. So we all know what happened in Dallas, Texas one bright November day in 1963.
But the point I am getting to is this. Those of you old enough to remember: didn’t you think it was weird, I mean really weird, that Jackie Kennedy would soon thereafter marry this Greek multibillionaire shipping tycoon named Aristotle Onassis? Who in the heck is this guy and how did he meet Jackie Kennedy, we all wondered. And above all, what does she see in him? It’s not as though she needs the money!
Well, as The Gemstone Files points out, Onassis didn’t just pop up on the scene after JFK died. Onassis was of Edomite ancestry and he was one of the major mob bosses in the world. The crime families in New York, Chicago, Las Vegas, etc. were subsidiaries of Onassis and Meyer Lansky was merely a bookkeeper.
John Kennedy’s papa Joe had made deals with the Onassis family way back in the 1930’s, part of it being to put one of his sons on the throne of America. And so when JFK ascended that throne, he and brother Bobby decided to double-cross their partners, who were really their patrons. They were spitting in the face of Onassis. So Onassis called up his Mossad buddies and they, along with American Mafia, teamed up for the hit. (I studied and read “tons” of information on the JFK assassination and I don’t believe for a minute that it was only the Mafia who were responsible for the deed. There were other factions with the same goal who cooperated in the very public murder.) As we all know, John F. Kennedy had many concubines, shall we call them. The public doesn’t know all their names, but the one visible wife, Jackie, was confiscated by the victor in this battle, one Aristotle Onassis. Jackie despised him but she was powerless to do anything but meekly submit to his commands. The Mafia custom of “rub out your enemy and take his goil” is simply the same, ago-old custom of confiscating the harem of the former king. It was Solomon himself who said: There is nothing new under the sun. Now back to Solomon’s court…
Many commentators express their amazement at how naïve and ignorant Bathsheba was to let herself get taken in like this by Adonijah’s scheme. I take another viewpoint. God blessed Solomon with wisdom greater than any man ever had, but I also believe the genetic inheritance from his father and mother was of a superior quality to begin with.
In other words, I don’t believe that Bathsheba was an imbecile or even naïve and ignorant. She was stupid like a fox! I believe she saw through Adonijah from the very beginning. She played along and agreed to take his request to her son for the simple reason that she very well knew that Solomon would use this second attempted usurpation, this second episode of treason as the legal means to get rid of this rival once and for all.
19 Bathsheba therefore went unto king Solomon, to speak unto him for Adonijah. And the king rose up to meet her, and bowed himself unto her, and sat down on his throne, and caused a seat to be set for the king’s mother; and she sat on his right hand.
Here is an example of the high regard Solomon held for his mother. Kings in the ancient East and even to modern times rise for no one. Here Solomon not only stood up when she came into his presence, but he bowed himself before her. Then he seated her at his right hand, the highest place of honor. As believers, we are commanded to honor our father and mother. What a stellar example Solomon sets!
Mother’s Day has become a once-a-year event for many people. They assuage their consciences and think they have done their duty if they send their mother a card, or get her a bouquet. Every day is mother’s day, in the sense that we should honor her year ‘round.
20 Then she said, I desire one small petition of thee; I pray thee, say me not nay. And the king said unto her, Ask on, my mother: for I will not say thee nay.
21 And she said, Let Abishag the Shunammite be given to Adonijah thy brother to wife.
22 And king Solomon answered and said unto his mother, And why dost thou ask Abishag the Shunammite for Adonijah? ask for him the kingdom also; for he is mine elder brother; even for him, and for Abiathar the priest, and for Joab the son of Zeruiah.
In other words, Solomon saw through Adonijah’s ruse immediately, just as his wise mother had foreseen. She probably also knew that her feigned naiveté would quickly spur Solomon to action.
23 Then king Solomon sware by the LORD, saying, God do so to me, and more also, if Adonijah have not spoken this word against his own life.
In other words, you heard him, Lord, we showed him mercy the first time. But he is still intent upon seizing this throne and that will not stand. He has just signed his own death warrant.
24 Now therefore, as the LORD liveth, which hath established me, and set me on the throne of David my father, and who hath made me an house, as he promised, Adonijah shall be put to death this day.
25 And king Solomon sent by the hand of Benaiah the son of Jehoiada; and he fell upon him that he died.
Loose end number one is now tied up. Now on to another of David’s loose ends. Solomon clearly believed that Joab and Abiathar were still part of the plot and thus he sends for Abiathar.
26 And unto Abiathar the priest said the king, Get thee to Anathoth, unto thine own fields; for thou art worthy of death: but I will not at this time put thee to death, because thou barest the ark of the Lord GOD before David my father, and because thou hast been afflicted in all wherein my father was afflicted.
27 So Solomon thrust out Abiathar from being priest unto the LORD; that he might fulfil the word of the LORD, which he spake concerning the house of Eli in Shiloh.
This is a major event in Bible history! This is where the short period of the two co-high priests ends. And with it, the transition is made whereby the high priest now comes from Aaron through the line of his son, Eleazar, instead of through his son, Ithamar. This was in fulfillment of a prophecy given to Samuel predicting the end of the house of Eli insofar as the priesthood was concerned.
We discussed that on both the physical historical and on the spiritual level some time back, and we shall not repeat it here. However, it is extremely important prophetically in our day. You can read the original prophecy in 1 Samuel 2:31-36 at your leisure.
With the banishment of Abiathar, King Solomon has tied up another loose end. Two down and two to go. Crusty old General Joab heard of the failure of the plot, so he headed for high ground—the altar, that is, the altar which David had erected up on Mount Moriah.
28 Then tidings came to Joab: for Joab had turned after Adonijah, though he turned not after Absalom. And Joab fled unto the tabernacle of the LORD, and caught hold on the horns of the altar.
29 And it was told king Solomon that Joab was fled unto the tabernacle of the LORD; and, behold, he is by the altar. Then Solomon sent Benaiah the son of Jehoiada, saying, Go, fall upon him.
30 And Benaiah came to the tabernacle of the LORD, and said unto him, Thus saith the king, Come forth. And he said, Nay; but I will die here. And Benaiah brought the king word again, saying, Thus said Joab, and thus he answered me.
31 And the king said unto him, Do as he hath said, and fall upon him, and bury him; that thou mayest take away the innocent blood, which Joab shed, from me, and from the house of my father.
32 And the LORD shall return his blood upon his own head, who fell upon two men more righteous and better than he, and slew them with the sword, my father David not knowing thereof, to wit, Abner the son of Ner, captain of the host of Israel, and Amasa the son of Jether, captain of the host of Judah.
33 Their blood shall therefore return upon the head of Joab, and upon the head of his seed for ever: but upon David, and upon his seed, and upon his house, and upon his throne, shall there be peace for ever from the LORD.
34 So Benaiah the son of Jehoiada went up, and fell upon him, and slew him: and he was buried in his own house in the wilderness.
Well, with that, it seems there are now a couple of vacancies to fill. It seems that the post of chairman of the joint chiefs of staff is open.
35 And the king put Benaiah the son of Jehoiada in his room [place] over the host: and Zadok the priest did the king put in the room of Abiathar.
Zadok was now officially announced as the sole high priest in Israel. Three down and one loose end left.
36 And the king sent and called for Shimei, and said unto him, Build thee an house in Jerusalem, and dwell there, and go not forth thence any whither.
37 For it shall be, that on the day thou goest out, and passest over the brook Kidron, thou shalt know for certain that thou shalt surely die: thy blood shall be upon thine own head.
Remember Shimei is a Benjamite and he had a habit of being a rabble rouser, stirring some of his fellow Saul partisans to sedition against the Lord’s anointed. To help him stay clean, Solomon tells him to move into Jerusalem and stay put. The brook Kidron was the boundary line between Judah and Benjamin. If he crosses Kidron, or otherwise leaves Jerusalem, Solomon would see it as a possible return to his old seditious ways. Solomon was really quite merciful with this mere sentence of house arrest, don’t you agree?
38 And Shimei said unto the king, The saying is good: as my lord the king hath said, so will thy servant do. And Shimei dwelt in Jerusalem many days.
Shimei agreed that he was given a better sentence than he deserved and so he stayed clean for three full years.
39 And it came to pass at the end of three years, that two of the servants of Shimei ran away unto Achish son of Maachah king of Gath. And they told Shimei, saying, Behold, thy servants be in Gath.
40 And Shimei arose, and saddled his ass, and went to Gath to Achish to seek his servants: and Shimei went, and brought his servants from Gath.
41 And it was told Solomon that Shimei had gone from Jerusalem to Gath, and was come again.
42 And the king sent and called for Shimei, and said unto him, Did I not make thee to swear by the LORD, and protested unto thee, saying, Know for a certain, on the day thou goest out, and walkest abroad any whither, that thou shalt surely die? and thou saidst unto me, The word that I have heard is good.
43 Why then hast thou not kept the oath of the LORD, and the commandment that I have charged thee with?
44 The king said moreover to Shimei, Thou knowest all the wickedness which thine heart is privy to, that thou didst to David my father: therefore the LORD shall return thy wickedness upon thine own head;
45 And king Solomon shall be blessed, and the throne of David shall be established before the LORD for ever.
46 So the king commanded Benaiah the son of Jehoiada; which went out, and fell upon him, that he died. And the kingdom was established in the hand of Solomon.
Thus all the loose ends left over by David, which had constituted threats to the young king, Solomon, were all tied up within about three years. Next month we will conclude this long series on Saul and David.