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1 Kings tells us that, when David was elderly and impotent, Adonijah considered himself as heir-apparent and crowned himself, but Nathan the Prophet and Bathsheba approached David:

She said to him, “My lord, you yourself swore to me your servant by the Lord your God: ‘Solomon your son shall be king after me, and he will sit on my throne.’ But now Adonijah has become king, and you, my lord the king, do not know about it.

Why would David have chosen Solomon, the younger candidate, as a successor?

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    Thanks for your answer. For fairly open questions like this, I like to give time for other answers to be written before accepting one. – spraff Oct 25 '17 at 20:32
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David chose Solomon as his successor because “the word of the Lord came to [him]” telling him to do so. David, due to his many sins, was unworthy of building God’s temple. God chose Solomon from before his birth as the one who would build the temple and reign over Israel.

1 Chronicles 22:6-10

6 Then he called for Solomon his son and charged him to build a house for the Lord, the God of Israel. 7 David said to Solomon, “My son, I had it in my heart to build a house to the name of the Lord my God. 8 But the word of the Lord came to me, saying, ‘You have shed much blood and have waged great wars. You shall not build a house to my name, because you have shed so much blood before me on the earth. 9 Behold, a son shall be born to you who shall be a man of rest. I will give him rest from all his surrounding enemies. For his name shall be Solomon, and I will give peace and quiet to Israel in his days. 10 He shall build a house for my name. He shall be my son, and I will be his father, and I will establish his royal throne in Israel forever.’

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The answer above is actually not correct. The Bible says David was not disqualified for his "many sins" but because he was a man of war and the temple needed to be built by a man of peace, Solomon. David had repented of his sins and had received forgiveness for them. It wasn't a matter of what David had done, it was more a matter of what he brought with him.

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    Welcome to the site. As it stands, this would be better as a comment on the other answer. If you wish, you can expand it to be an independent and complete answer. We prefer a pure question-and-answer format to discussion on this site. You may be interested in reading the tour and help center to learn more about the site. – disciple Nov 30 '18 at 16:58
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    Agree with @disciple. Additionally, please cite sources for your answer. You mention that the Bible gives the answer - please include the exact reference and quote in the answer. – Alex Strasser Nov 30 '18 at 17:19

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