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1Now the days of David drew near that he should die; and he charged Solomon, his son, saying,2I go the way of all the earth; be thou strong therefore and show thyself a man.3Keep the charge of the Lord thy God, walking in his ways, keeping his statutes and his commandments and his rights and his testimonies, as it is written in the law of Moses, that thou may have understanding in all that thou doest and in everything that thou dost undertake,4that the Lord may confirm the word which he spoke concerning me, saying, If thy sons take heed to their way, walking before me in truth with all their heart and with all their soul, there shall not fail thee (said he) a man on the throne of Israel.5Moreover thou knowest also what Joab, the son of Zeruiah, did to me and what he did to the two captains of the host of Israel, unto Abner, the son of Ner and unto Amasa, the son of Jether, whom he slew, shedding the blood of war in peace and putting the blood of war upon his girdle that was about his loins and in his shoes that were on his feet.6Do, therefore, according to thy wisdom and let not his hoar head go down to Sheol in peace.7But show mercy unto the sons of Barzillai, the Gileadite, and let them be of those that eat at thy table, for they came thus unto me when I fled because of Absalom, thy brother.8And, behold, thou hast with thee Shimei, the son of Gera, a Benjamite of Bahurim, who cursed me with a grievous curse in the day when I went to Mahanaim. But he came down to meet me at the Jordan, and I swore to him by the Lord, saying, I will not put thee to death with the sword.9Now therefore do not hold him guiltless, for thou art a wise man and knowest what thou should do with him, but thou shalt bring his hoar head down to Sheol with blood.10And David slept with his fathers and was buried in the city of David.11The days that David reigned over Israel were forty years; he reigned seven years in Hebron, and he reigned thirty-three years in Jerusalem.
12Then Solomon sat upon the throne of David his father, and his kingdom was established greatly.13Then Adonijah, the son of Haggith, came to Bathsheba, the mother of Solomon. And she said, Comest thou peaceably? And he said, Peaceably.14He said moreover, I have a word to say unto thee. And she said, Say on.15And he said, Thou knowest that the kingdom was mine and that all Israel had set their faces on me that I should reign, but the kingdom is turned about and is become my brother’s, for by the Lord it was his.16And now I ask one petition of thee, do not deny me. And she said unto him, Say on.17Then he said, Speak, I pray thee, unto Solomon the king (for he will not deny thee) that he give me Abishag, the Shunammite to wife.18And Bathsheba said, Well, I will speak for thee unto the king.19Bathsheba, 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.20Then she said, I desire one small petition of thee; I pray thee, do not deny me. And the king said unto her, Ask on, my mother, for I will not deny thee.21And she said, Let Abishag, the Shunammite, be given to Adonijah, thy brother, to wife.22And 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 my elder brother and he also has Abiathar, the priest, and Joab, the son of Zeruiah.23Then King Solomon swore by the Lord, saying, God do so to me and more also, if Adonijah has not spoken this word against his own life.24Now, therefore, as the Lord lives, who has confirmed me, and set me on the throne of David, my father, and who has made me a house, as he promised, Adonijah shall be put to death today.25Then King Solomon sent by the hand of Benaiah, the son of Jehoiada; and he fell upon him that he died.
26And unto Abiathar, the priest, the king said, Go to Anathoth, unto thine own inheritance, for thou art worthy of death; but I will not put thee to death today because thou didst bare the ark of the Lord GOD before David, my father, and because thou hast been afflicted in all wherein my father was afflicted.27So Solomon thrust out Abiathar from being priest unto the Lord that he might fulfil the word of the Lord, which he spoke concerning the house of Eli in Shiloh.28And the news came to Joab, for Joab had turned after Adonijah, though he had not turned after Absalom. And Joab fled unto the tabernacle of the Lord and caught hold on the horns of the altar.29And it was told King Solomon that Joab had fled unto the tabernacle of the Lord and that he was by the altar. Then Solomon sent Benaiah, the son of Jehoiada, saying, Go, fall upon him.30And Benaiah entered into the tabernacle of the Lord and said unto him, Thus saith the king, Come forth. And he said, No, but I will die here. And Benaiah brought the king word again, saying, Thus said Joab, and thus he answered me.31And the king said unto him, Do as he has said and fall upon him and bury him that thou may take away from me and from the house of my father the blood which Joab shed without a cause.32And 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 without my father David knowing of it: Abner, the son of Ner, captain of the host of Israel, and Amasa, the son of Jether, captain of the host of Judah.33Their 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.34So 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.
35And the king put Benaiah, the son of Jehoiada, in his place over the host; and Zadok, the priest, the king put in the place of Abiathar.36Afterward the king sent and called for Shimei and said unto him, Build thee a house in Jerusalem and dwell there, and do not go forth from there anywhere.37For 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.38And Shimei said unto the king, The word is good as my lord the king has said, so will thy slave do. And Shimei dwelt in Jerusalem many days.39But it came to pass at the end of three years that two of the slaves of Shimei ran away unto Achish, son of Maachah, king of Gath. And they told Shimei, saying, Behold, thy slaves are in Gath.40And Shimei arose and saddled his ass and went to Gath to Achish to seek his slaves. Shimei went, therefore, and brought his slaves from Gath.41And it was told Solomon how Shimei had gone from Jerusalem to Gath and had come again.42Then 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 certain, on the day thou goest out and walkest abroad anywhere that thou shalt surely die? And thou didst say unto me, The word that I have heard is good.43Why then hast thou not kept the oath of the Lord and the commandment that I have charged thee with?44The king said moreover to Shimei, Thou knowest all the wickedness which thy heart knoweth well that thou didst to David my father; therefore, the Lord has turned thy wickedness upon thine own head;45and King Solomon shall be blessed, and the throne of David shall be established before the Lord for ever.46Then the king commanded Benaiah, the son of Jehoiada, who went out and fell upon him that he died. And the kingdom was confirmed in the hand of Solomon.
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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.