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The fourth son of David and an older brother of Solomon. He aspired to succeed his father as king, even though he knew that his brother had been promised the throne. Sensing his ambition, friends of Solomon urged the latter's mother, Bathsheba, to persuade David to forestall the conspiracy. David readily agreed and arranged to have Solomon escorted to Gihon, where he was anointed, proclaimed king, and seated on the throne. He took no immediate steps to punish Adonijah for conspiring against him, but when he learned from Bathsheba that his brother was seeking marriage with Abishag, a union that would threaten Solomon's sovereignty, he promptly ordered his brother's death. (I Kings 1, 2).
All items in this dictionary are from Fr. John Hardon's Modern Catholic Dictionary, © Eternal Life. Used with permission.