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2
David’s Final Words to Solomon
1 When David was close to death,#tn Heb “and the days of David approached to die.” he told#tn Or “commanded.” Solomon his son: 2 “I am about to die.#tn Heb “going the way of all the earth.” Be strong and become a man! 3 Do the job the Lord your God has assigned you#tn Heb “keep the charge of the Lord your God.” by following his instructions#tn Heb “by walking in his ways.” and obeying#tn Or “keeping.” his rules, commandments, regulations, and laws as written in the law of Moses. Then you will succeed in all you do and seek to accomplish,#tn Heb “then you will cause to succeed all which you do and all which you turn there.” 4 and the Lord will fulfill his promise to me,#tn Heb “then the Lord will establish his word which he spoke to me, saying.” ‘If your descendants watch their step#tn Heb “guard their way.” and live faithfully in my presence#tn Heb “by walking before me in faithfulness.” with all their heart and being,#tn Or “soul.” then,’ he promised,#tn Heb “saying.” ‘you will not fail to have a successor on the throne of Israel.’#tn Heb “there will not be cut off from you a man from upon the throne of Israel.”
5 “You know what Joab son of Zeruiah did to me – how he murdered two commanders of the Israelite armies, Abner son of Ner and Amasa son of Jether.#tn Heb “what he did to the two commanders…and he killed them.” During peacetime he struck them down like he would in battle;#tn Heb “he shed the blood of battle in peace.” when he shed their blood as if in battle, he stained his own belt and the sandals on his feet.#tn Heb “and he shed the blood of battle when he killed which is on his waist and on his sandal[s] which are on his feet.” That is, he covered himself with guilt and his guilt was obvious to all who saw him. 6 Do to him what you think is appropriate,#tn Heb “according to your wisdom.” but don’t let him live long and die a peaceful death.#tn Heb “and do not bring down his grey hair in peace [to] Sheol.”
7 “Treat fairly#tn Heb “do loyalty with”; or “act faithfully toward.” the sons of Barzillai of Gilead and provide for their needs,#tn Heb “and let them be among the ones who eat [at] your table.” because they helped me#tn Heb “drew near to.” when I had to flee from your brother Absalom.
8 “Note well, you still have to contend with Shimei son of Gera, the Benjaminite from Bahurim,#tn Heb “Look, with you is Shimei….” who tried to call down upon me a horrible judgment when I went to Mahanaim.#tn Heb “and he cursed me with a horrible curse on the day I went to Mahanaim.” He came down and met me at the Jordan, and I solemnly promised#tn Or “swore an oath to.” him by the Lord, ‘I will not strike you down#tn Heb “kill you.” with the sword.’ 9 But now#tc The Lucianic recension of the Old Greek and the Vulgate have here “you” rather than “now.” The two words are homonyms in Hebrew. don’t treat him as if he were innocent. You are a wise man and you know how to handle him;#tn Heb “what you should do to him.” make sure he has a bloody death.”#tn Heb “bring his grey hair down in blood [to] Sheol.”
10 Then David passed away#tn Heb “and David lay down with his fathers.” and was buried in the city of David.#sn The phrase the city of David refers here to the fortress of Zion in Jerusalem, not to Bethlehem. See 2 Sam 5:7. 11 David reigned over Israel forty years; he reigned in Hebron seven years, and in Jerusalem#map For location see Map5-B1; Map6-F3; Map7-E2; Map8-F2; Map10-B3; JP1-F4; JP2-F4; JP3-F4; JP4-F4. thirty-three years.
Solomon Secures the Throne
12 Solomon sat on his father David’s throne, and his royal authority#tn Or “kingship.” was firmly solidified.
13 Haggith’s son Adonijah visited Bathsheba, Solomon’s mother. She asked, “Do you come in peace?” He answered, “Yes.”#tn Heb “[in] peace.” 14 He added,#tn Heb “and he said.” “I have something to say to you.” She replied, “Speak.” 15 He said, “You know that the kingdom#tn Or “kingship.” was mine and all Israel considered me king.#tn Heb “set their face to me to be king.” But then the kingdom was given to my brother, for the Lord decided it should be his.#tn Heb “and the kingdom turned about and became my brother’s, for from the Lord it became his.” 16 Now I’d like to ask you for just one thing. Please don’t refuse me.”#tn Heb “Do not turn back my face.” She said, “Go ahead and ask.”#tn Heb “She said, ‘Speak!’” 17 He said, “Please ask King Solomon if he would give me Abishag the Shunammite as a wife, for he won’t refuse you.”#tn Heb “Say to Solomon the king, for he will not turn back your face, that he might give to me Abishag the Shunammite for a wife.” 18 Bathsheba replied, “That’s fine,#tn Heb “[It is] good!” I’ll speak to the king on your behalf.”
19 So Bathsheba visited King Solomon to speak to him on Adonijah’s behalf. The king got up to greet#tn Or “meet.” her, bowed to her, and then sat on his throne. He ordered a throne to be brought for the king’s mother,#tn Heb “he set up a throne for the mother of the king.” and she sat at his right hand. 20 She said, “I would like to ask you for just one small favor.#tn Or “I’d like to make just one request of you.” Please don’t refuse me.”#tn Heb “Do not turn back my face.” He said,#tn Heb “and the king said to her.” “Go ahead and ask, my mother, for I would not refuse you.” 21 She said, “Allow Abishag the Shunammite to be given to your brother Adonijah as a wife.” 22 King Solomon answered his mother, “Why just request Abishag the Shunammite for him?#tn Heb “for Adonijah.” Since he is my older brother, you should also request the kingdom for him, for Abiathar the priest, and for Joab son of Zeruiah!”
23 King Solomon then swore an oath by the Lord, “May God judge me severely,#tn Heb “So may God do to me, and so may he add.” if Adonijah does not pay for this request with his life!#tn Heb “if with his life Adonijah has not spoken this word.” 24 Now, as certainly as the Lord lives (he who made me secure, allowed me to sit on my father David’s throne, and established a dynasty#tn Heb “house.” for me as he promised), Adonijah will be executed today!” 25 King Solomon then sent#tn The Hebrew text adds, “by the hand of.” Benaiah son of Jehoiada, and he killed Adonijah.#tn Heb “and he struck him and he died.”
26 The king then told Abiathar the priest, “Go back to your property#tn Or “field.” in Anathoth. You deserve to die,#tn Heb “you are a man of death.” but today I will not kill you because you did carry the ark of the sovereign Lord before my father David and you suffered with my father through all his difficult times.”#tn Heb “and because you suffered through all which my father suffered.” 27 Solomon dismissed Abiathar from his position as priest of the Lord,#tn Heb “Solomon drove out Abiathar from being a priest to the Lord.” fulfilling the decree of judgment the Lord made in Shiloh against the family of Eli.#tn Heb “fulfilling the word of the Lord which he spoke against the house of Eli in Shiloh.”
28 When the news reached Joab (for Joab had supported#tn Heb “turned after” (also later in this verse). Adonijah, although he had not supported Absalom), he#tn Heb “Joab.” The proper name has been replaced by the pronoun (“he”) in the translation for stylistic reasons. ran to the tent of the Lord and grabbed hold of the horns of the altar.#sn Grabbed hold of the horns of the altar. The “horns” of the altar were the horn-shaped projections on the four corners of the altar (see Exod 27:2). By going to the holy place and grabbing hold of the horns of the altar, Joab was seeking asylum from Solomon. 29 When King Solomon heard#tn Heb “and it was related to King Solomon.” that Joab had run to the tent of the Lord and was right there beside the altar, he ordered Benaiah son of Jehoiada,#tn Heb “so Solomon sent Benaiah son of Jehoiada, saying.” “Go, strike him down.” 30 When Benaiah arrived at the tent of the Lord, he said to him, “The king says, ‘Come out!’” But he replied, “No, I will die here!” So Benaiah sent word to the king and reported Joab’s reply.#tn Heb “saying, “In this way Joab spoke and in this way he answered me.” 31 The king told him, “Do as he said! Strike him down and bury him. Take away from me and from my father’s family#tn Heb “house.” the guilt of Joab’s murderous, bloody deeds.#tn Heb “take away the undeserved bloodshed which Joab spilled from upon me and from upon the house of my father.” 32 May the Lord punish him for the blood he shed;#tn Heb “The Lord will cause his blood to return upon his head.” behind my father David’s back he struck down and murdered with the sword two men who were more innocent and morally upright than he#tn Heb “because he struck down two men more innocent and better than he and he killed them with the sword, and my father David did not know.” – Abner son of Ner, commander of Israel’s army, and Amasa son of Jether, commander of Judah’s army. 33 May Joab and his descendants be perpetually guilty of their shed blood, but may the Lord give perpetual peace to David, his descendants, his family,#tn Heb “house.” and his dynasty.”#tn Heb “his throne.” 34 So Benaiah son of Jehoiada went up and executed Joab;#tn Heb “struck him and killed him.” The referent (Joab) has been specified in the translation for clarity. he was buried at his home in the wilderness. 35 The king appointed Benaiah son of Jehoiada to take his place at the head of#tn Heb “over.” the army, and the king appointed Zadok the priest to take Abiathar’s place.#tc The Old Greek translation includes after v. 35 some fourteen verses that are absent from the MT.
36 Next the king summoned#tn Heb “sent and summoned.” Shimei and told him, “Build yourself a house in Jerusalem#map For location see Map5-B1; Map6-F3; Map7-E2; Map8-F2; Map10-B3; JP1-F4; JP2-F4; JP3-F4; JP4-F4. and live there – but you may not leave there to go anywhere!#tn Heb “and you may not go out from there here or there.” 37 If you ever do leave and cross the Kidron Valley, know for sure that you will certainly die! You will be responsible for your own death.”#tn Heb “your blood will be upon your head.” 38 Shimei said to the king, “My master the king’s proposal is acceptable.#tn Heb “Good is the word, as my master the king has spoken.” Your servant will do as you say.”#tn Heb “so your servant will do.” So Shimei lived in Jerusalem for a long time.#tn Heb “many days.”
39 Three years later two of Shimei’s servants ran away to King Achish son of Maacah of Gath. Shimei was told, “Look, your servants are in Gath.” 40 So Shimei got up, saddled his donkey, and went to Achish at Gath to find his servants; Shimei went and brought back his servants from Gath. 41 When Solomon was told that Shimei had gone from Jerusalem to Gath and had then returned, 42 the king summoned#tn Heb “sent and summoned.” Shimei and said to him, “You will recall#tn Heb “Is it not [true]…?” In the Hebrew text the statement is interrogative; the rhetorical question expects the answer, “Of course it is.” that I made you take an oath by the Lord, and I solemnly warned you, ‘If you ever leave and go anywhere,#tn Heb “here or there.” know for sure that you will certainly die.’ You said to me, ‘The proposal is acceptable; I agree to it.’#tn Heb “good is the word; I have heard.” 43 Why then have you broken the oath you made before the Lord and disobeyed the order I gave you?”#tn Heb “Why have you not kept the oath [to] the Lord and the commandment I commanded you?” 44 Then the king said to Shimei, “You are well aware of the way you mistreated my father David.#tn Heb “You know all the evil, for your heart knows, which you did to David my father.” The Lord will punish you for what you did.#tn Heb “The Lord will cause your evil to return upon your head.” 45 But King Solomon will be empowered#tn Or “blessed.” and David’s dynasty#tn Heb “throne.” will endure permanently before the Lord.” 46 The king then gave the order to Benaiah son of Jehoiada who went and executed Shimei.#tn “The king commanded Benaiah son of Jehoiada and he went out and struck him down and he died.”
So Solomon took firm control of the kingdom.#tn “And the kingdom was established in the hand of Solomon.”
2
David’s Final Instructions to Solomon
1As the time of King David’s death approached, he gave this charge to his son Solomon:
2“I am going where everyone on earth must someday go. Take courage and be a man. 3Observe the requirements of the Lord your God, and follow all his ways. Keep the decrees, commands, regulations, and laws written in the Law of Moses so that you will be successful in all you do and wherever you go. 4If you do this, then the Lord will keep the promise he made to me. He told me, ‘If your descendants live as they should and follow me faithfully with all their heart and soul, one of them will always sit on the throne of Israel.’
5“And there is something else. You know what Joab son of Zeruiah did to me when he murdered my two army commanders, Abner son of Ner and Amasa son of Jether. He pretended that it was an act of war, but it was done in a time of peace,#2:5a Or He murdered them during a time of peace as revenge for deaths they had caused in time of war. staining his belt and sandals with innocent blood.#2:5b As in some Greek and Old Latin manuscripts; Hebrew reads with the blood of war. 6Do with him what you think best, but don’t let him grow old and go to his grave in peace.#2:6 Hebrew don’t let his white head go down to Sheol in peace.
7“Be kind to the sons of Barzillai of Gilead. Make them permanent guests at your table, for they took care of me when I fled from your brother Absalom.
8“And remember Shimei son of Gera, the man from Bahurim in Benjamin. He cursed me with a terrible curse as I was fleeing to Mahanaim. When he came down to meet me at the Jordan River, I swore by the Lord that I would not kill him. 9But that oath does not make him innocent. You are a wise man, and you will know how to arrange a bloody death for him.#2:9 Hebrew how to bring his white head down to Sheol in blood.
10Then David died and was buried with his ancestors in the City of David. 11David had reigned over Israel for forty years, seven of them in Hebron and thirty-three in Jerusalem. 12Solomon became king and sat on the throne of David his father, and his kingdom was firmly established.
Solomon Establishes His Rule
13One day Adonijah, whose mother was Haggith, came to see Bathsheba, Solomon’s mother. “Have you come with peaceful intentions?” she asked him.
“Yes,” he said, “I come in peace. 14In fact, I have a favor to ask of you.”
“What is it?” she asked.
15He replied, “As you know, the kingdom was rightfully mine; all Israel wanted me to be the next king. But the tables were turned, and the kingdom went to my brother instead; for that is the way the Lord wanted it. 16So now I have just one favor to ask of you. Please don’t turn me down.”
“What is it?” she asked.
17He replied, “Speak to King Solomon on my behalf, for I know he will do anything you request. Ask him to let me marry Abishag, the girl from Shunem.”
18“All right,” Bathsheba replied. “I will speak to the king for you.”
19So Bathsheba went to King Solomon to speak on Adonijah’s behalf. The king rose from his throne to meet her, and he bowed down before her. When he sat down on his throne again, the king ordered that a throne be brought for his mother, and she sat at his right hand.
20“I have one small request to make of you,” she said. “I hope you won’t turn me down.”
“What is it, my mother?” he asked. “You know I won’t refuse you.”
21“Then let your brother Adonijah marry Abishag, the girl from Shunem,” she replied.
22“How can you possibly ask me to give Abishag to Adonijah?” King Solomon demanded. “You might as well ask me to give him the kingdom! You know that he is my older brother, and that he has Abiathar the priest and Joab son of Zeruiah on his side.”
23Then King Solomon made a vow before the Lord: “May God strike me and even kill me if Adonijah has not sealed his fate with this request. 24The Lord has confirmed me and placed me on the throne of my father, David; he has established my dynasty as he promised. So as surely as the Lord lives, Adonijah will die this very day!” 25So King Solomon ordered Benaiah son of Jehoiada to execute him, and Adonijah was put to death.
26Then the king said to Abiathar the priest, “Go back to your home in Anathoth. You deserve to die, but I will not kill you now, because you carried the Ark of the Sovereign Lord for David my father and you shared all his hardships.” 27So Solomon deposed Abiathar from his position as priest of the Lord, thereby fulfilling the prophecy the Lord had given at Shiloh concerning the descendants of Eli.
28Joab had not joined Absalom’s earlier rebellion, but he had joined Adonijah’s rebellion. So when Joab heard about Adonijah’s death, he ran to the sacred tent of the Lord and grabbed on to the horns of the altar. 29When this was reported to King Solomon, he sent Benaiah son of Jehoiada to execute him.
30Benaiah went to the sacred tent of the Lord and said to Joab, “The king orders you to come out!”
But Joab answered, “No, I will die here.”
So Benaiah returned to the king and told him what Joab had said.
31“Do as he said,” the king replied. “Kill him there beside the altar and bury him. This will remove the guilt of Joab’s senseless murders from me and from my father’s family. 32The Lord will repay him#2:32 Hebrew will return his blood on his own head. for the murders of two men who were more righteous and better than he. For my father knew nothing about the deaths of Abner son of Ner, commander of the army of Israel, and of Amasa son of Jether, commander of the army of Judah. 33May their blood be on Joab and his descendants forever, and may the Lord grant peace forever to David, his descendants, his dynasty, and his throne.”
34So Benaiah son of Jehoiada returned to the sacred tent and killed Joab, and he was buried at his home in the wilderness. 35Then the king appointed Benaiah to command the army in place of Joab, and he installed Zadok the priest to take the place of Abiathar.
36The king then sent for Shimei and told him, “Build a house here in Jerusalem and live there. But don’t step outside the city to go anywhere else. 37On the day you so much as cross the Kidron Valley, you will surely die; and your blood will be on your own head.”
38Shimei replied, “Your sentence is fair; I will do whatever my lord the king commands.” So Shimei lived in Jerusalem for a long time.
39But three years later two of Shimei’s slaves ran away to King Achish son of Maacah of Gath. When Shimei learned where they were, 40he saddled his donkey and went to Gath to search for them. When he found them, he brought them back to Jerusalem.
41Solomon heard that Shimei had left Jerusalem and had gone to Gath and returned. 42So the king sent for Shimei and demanded, “Didn’t I make you swear by the Lord and warn you not to go anywhere else or you would surely die? And you replied, ‘The sentence is fair; I will do as you say.’ 43Then why haven’t you kept your oath to the Lord and obeyed my command?”
44The king also said to Shimei, “You certainly remember all the wicked things you did to my father, David. May the Lord now bring that evil on your own head. 45But may I, King Solomon, receive the Lord’s blessings, and may one of David’s descendants always sit on this throne in the presence of the Lord.” 46Then, at the king’s command, Benaiah son of Jehoiada took Shimei outside and killed him.
So the kingdom was now firmly in Solomon’s grip.