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2
David Gives Orders to Solomon
1The time came near for David to die. So he gave orders to his son Solomon. He said,
2"I'm about to die, just as everyone else on earth does. So be strong. Show how brave you are. 3Do everything the Lord your God requires. Live the way he wants you to. Obey his orders and commands. Keep his laws and rules. Do everything that is written in the Law of Moses. Then you will have success in everything you do. You will succeed everywhere you go.
4"The Lord will keep the promise he made to me. He said, 'Your sons must be careful about how they live. They must be faithful to me with all their heart and soul. Then you will always have a man sitting on the throne of Israel.'
5"You yourself know what Joab, the son of Zeruiah, did to me. You know that he killed Abner, the son of Ner, and Amasa, the son of Jether. They were the two commanders of Israel's armies. He killed them in a time of peace. It wasn't a time of war. Joab spilled the blood of Abner and Amasa. It stained the belt that was around his waist. It also stained the sandals on his feet. 6You are wise. So I leave him in your hands. Just don't let him live to become an old man. Don't let him die peacefully.
7"But be kind to the sons of Barzillai from Gilead. Provide what they need. They were faithful to me when I had to run away from your brother Absalom.
8"Don't forget Shimei, the son of Gera. He's still around. He's from Bahurim in the territory of Benjamin. He called down bitter curses on me. He did it on the day I went to Mahanaim. Later, he came down to welcome me at the Jordan River. At that time I took an oath in the name of the Lord. I promised Shimei, 'I won't put you to death with my sword.' 9But now I want you to think of him as guilty. You are wise. You will know what to do to him. Don't let him live to become an old man. Put him to death."
10David joined the members of his family who had already died. His body was buried in the City of David. 11He had ruled over Israel for 40 years. He ruled for seven years in Hebron. Then he ruled for 33 years in Jerusalem.
12So Solomon sat on the throne of his father David. His position as king was made secure.
Solomon's Kingdom Is Made Secure
13Adonijah was the son of David's wife Haggith. He went to Bathsheba. She was Solomon's mother. She asked Adonijah, "Have you come in peace?"
He answered, "Yes. I've come in peace." 14He continued, "I want to ask you something."
"Go ahead," she replied.
15He said, "As you know, the kingdom belonged to me. The whole nation of Israel thought of me as their king. But now things have changed. The kingdom belongs to my brother. The Lord has given it to him. 16But I have a favor to ask of you. Don't say no to me."
"Go ahead," she said.
17So he continued, "Please ask King Solomon for a favor. He won't say no to you. Ask him to give me Abishag from Shunem to be my wife."
18"All right," Bathsheba replied. "I'll speak to the king for you."
19So Bathsheba went to King Solomon. She went to him to speak for Adonijah. The king stood up to greet her. He bowed down to her. Then he sat down on his throne. He had a throne brought for his mother. She sat down at his right side.
20"I have one small favor to ask of you," she said. "Don't say no to me."
The king replied, "Mother, go ahead and ask. I won't say no to you."
21She said, "Let your brother Adonijah get married to Abishag, the Shunammite."
22King Solomon answered his mother, "Why are you asking for Abishag, the Shunammite, for Adonijah? You might as well ask me to give him the whole kingdom! After all, he's my older brother. And he doesn't want the kingdom only for himself. He also wants it for the priest Abiathar and for Joab, the son of Zeruiah."
23Then King Solomon took an oath and made a promise in the name of the Lord. He said, "Adonijah will pay with his life because of what he has asked for. If he doesn't, may God punish me greatly. 24The Lord has made my position as king secure. I'm sitting on the throne of my father David. The Lord has built a royal house for me, just as he promised. You can be sure that the Lord lives. And you can be just as sure that Adonijah will be put to death today."
25So King Solomon gave the order to Benaiah, the son of Jehoiada. Benaiah struck Adonijah down. And Adonijah died.
26The king spoke to the priest Abiathar. He said, "Go back to your fields in Anathoth. You should really be put to death. But I won't have it done now. That's because you carried the ark of the Lord and King. You did it for my father David. You shared all of his hard times."
27So Solomon wouldn't let Abiathar serve as a priest of the Lord anymore. That's how the message the Lord had spoken at Shiloh came true. He had spoken it about the family of Eli.
28News of what Solomon had done reached Joab. Joab had never made evil plans along with Absalom. But he had joined Adonijah. So he ran to the tent of the Lord. He took hold of the horns that stuck out from the upper corners of the altar for burnt offerings.
29King Solomon was told that Joab had run to the tent. He was also told that Joab was by the altar.
Then Solomon gave the order to Benaiah, the son of Jehoiada. He told him, "Go! Strike him down!"
30So Benaiah entered the tent of the Lord. He said to Joab, "The king says, 'Come on out!' "
But Joab answered, "No. I'd rather die here."
Benaiah told the king what Joab had said to him.
31Then the king commanded Benaiah, "Do what he says. Strike him down. Bury his body. Then I and my family won't be held accountable for the blood Joab spilled. He killed people who weren't guilty of doing anything wrong. 32The Lord will pay him back for the blood he spilled. Joab attacked two men. He killed them with his sword. And my father David didn't even know anything about it.
"Joab killed Abner, the son of Ner. Abner was the commander of Israel's army. Joab also killed Amasa, the son of Jether. Amasa was the commander of Judah's army. Abner and Amasa were better men than Joab is. They were more honest than he is. 33May Joab and his children after him be held forever accountable for spilling the blood of Abner and Amasa.
"But may David and his children after him enjoy the Lord's peace and rest forever. May the Lord also give his peace to David's royal house and kingdom forever."
34So Benaiah, the son of Jehoiada, went up to the Lord's tent. There he struck Joab down. And he killed him. Joab's body was buried on his own land in the desert.
35The king put Benaiah in charge of the army. Benaiah took Joab's place. The king also put the priest Zadok in Abiathar's place.
36Then the king sent for Shimei. He said to him, "Build yourself a house in Jerusalem. Live there. Don't go anywhere else. 37You must not leave the city and go across the Kidron Valley. If you do, you can be sure you will die. And it will be your own fault."
38Shimei replied to the king, "You are my king and master. What you say is good. I'll do it." Shimei stayed in Jerusalem for a long time.
39Three years after Solomon had talked with Shimei, two of Shimei's slaves ran off. They went to Achish, the king of Gath. He was the son of Maacah. Shimei was told, "Your slaves are in Gath." 40When Shimei heard that, he put a saddle on his donkey. Then he went to Achish at Gath to look for his slaves. Shimei found them and brought them back from Gath.
41Solomon was told that Shimei had left Jerusalem. He was told he had gone to Gath and had returned.
42So the king sent for Shimei. He said to him, "Didn't I make you take an oath in the name of the Lord? Didn't I warn you? I said, 'You must not leave the city and go somewhere else. If you do, you can be sure you will die.' At that time you said to me, 'What you say is good. I'll obey your command.' 43So why didn't you keep your oath to the Lord? Why didn't you obey the command I gave you?"
44The king continued, "You know all of the wrong things you did to my father David. In your heart you know them. Now the Lord will pay you back for what you did. 45But I will be blessed. The Lord will make David's kingdom secure forever."
46Then the king gave the order to Benaiah, the son of Jehoiada. Benaiah left the palace and struck Shimei down. And he killed him.
So the kingdom was now made secure in Solomon's hands.
2
1 WHEN DAVID'S time to die was near, he charged Solomon his son, saying,
2 I go the way of all the earth. Be strong and show yourself a man;
3 Keep the charge of the Lord your God, walk in His ways, keep His statutes, His commandments, His precepts, and His testimonies, as it is written in the Law of Moses, that you may do wisely and prosper in all that you do and wherever you turn,
4 That the Lord may fulfill His promise to me, saying, If your sons take heed to their way, to walk before Me in truth with all their heart and mind and with all their soul, there shall not fail you [to have] a man on the throne of Israel.
5 You know also what Joab son of Zeruiah did to me, and what he did to the two captains of the hosts of Israel, Abner son of Ner and Amasa son of Jether, whom he murdered, avenging in time of peace blood shed in war, and putting innocent blood of war on the girdle on his loins and on the sandals of his feet.
6 Do therefore according to your wisdom, but let not his hoary head go down to Sheol (the place of the dead) in peace.
7 But show kindness to the sons of Barzillai the Gileadite and let them be among those who eat at your table; for with such kindness they met me when I fled because of Absalom your brother. [II Sam. 17:27-29.]
8 And you have with you Shimei son of Gera, the 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 [on my return], and I swore to him by the Lord, saying, I will not put you to death with the sword.
9 So do not hold him guiltless; for you are a wise man and know what you should do to him. His hoary head bring down to the grave with blood.
10 So David slept with his fathers and was buried in the City of David.
11 David reigned over Israel forty years–seven years in Hebron and thirty-three years in Jerusalem.
12 Then Solomon sat on the throne of David his father, and his kingdom was firmly established.
13 Adonijah, the son of [David and] Haggith, came to Bathsheba, the mother of Solomon. She said, Do you come peaceably? And he said, Peaceably.
14 He said, I have something to say to you. And she said, Say on.
15 He said, You know that the kingdom belonged to me [as the eldest living son], and all Israel looked to me to reign. However, the kingdom has passed from me to my brother; for it was his from the Lord.
16 Now I make one request of you; do not deny me. And she said, Say on.
17 He said, I pray you, ask King Solomon, for he will not refuse you, to give me Abishag the Shunammite to be my wife. [I Kings 1:1-4.]
18 And Bathsheba said, Very well; I will speak for you to the king.
19 So Bathsheba went to King Solomon to speak to him for Adonijah. The king rose to meet her, bowed to her, sat down on his throne, and caused a seat to be set at his right hand for her, the king's mother.
20 Then she said, I have one small request to make of you; do not refuse me. The king said to her, Ask on, my mother, for I will not refuse you.
21 She said, Give Abishag the Shunammite to Adonijah your brother to be his wife.
22 King Solomon answered his mother, And why do you ask Abishag the Shunammite for Adonijah? Ask for him the kingdom also–for he is my elder brother–[ask it] even for him and for [his supporters] Abiathar the priest and Joab son of Zeruiah.
23 Then King Solomon swore by the Lord, saying, May God do so to me, and more also, if Adonijah has not requested this against his own life.
24 Therefore, as the Lord lives, Who has established 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 this day.
25 So King Solomon sent Benaiah son of Jehoiada, who attacked [Adonijah] and he died.
26 And to Abiathar the priest the king said, Get to Anathoth to your own estate; for you deserve death, but I will not put you to death now, because you bore the ark of the Lord God before my father David and were afflicted in all my father endured.
27 So Solomon expelled Abiathar [descendant of Eli] from being priest to the Lord, fulfilling the word of the Lord which He spoke concerning the house of Eli in Shiloh. [I Sam. 2:27-36.]
28 When the news came to Joab, for Joab had followed Adonijah though he had not followed Absalom, [he] fled to the tent (tabernacle) of the Lord and caught hold of the horns of the altar [before it].
29 King Solomon was told that Joab had fled to the tent of the Lord and was at the altar. Then Solomon sent Benaiah son of Jehoiada, saying, Go, strike him down.
30 So Benaiah came to the tent of the Lord and told Joab, The king commands, Come forth. But Joab said, No, I will die here. Then Benaiah brought the king word again, Thus said Joab, and thus he answered me.
31 The king said to him, Do as he has said. Strike him down and bury him, that you may take away from [me and from] my father's house the innocent blood which Joab shed.
32 The Lord shall return his bloody deeds upon his own head, for he fell upon two men more [uncompromisingly] righteous and honorable than he and slew them with the sword, without my father knowing of it: Abner son of Ner, captain of the host of Israel, and Amasa son of Jether, captain of the host of Judah.
33 So shall their blood return upon the head of Joab and of his descendants forever. But upon David, his descendants, his house, and his throne, there shall be peace from the Lord forever.
34 So Benaiah son of Jehoiada went up and struck and killed Joab, and he was buried at his own house in the wilderness.
35 The king put Benaiah son of Jehoiada in Joab's place over the army and put Zadok the priest in place of Abiathar.
36 The king sent for Shimei and said to him, Build yourself a house in Jerusalem and dwell there, and do not leave there.
37 For on the day you go out and pass over the brook Kidron, know with certainty that you shall die; your blood shall be upon your own head.
38 And Shimei said to the king, The saying is good. As my lord the king has said, so your servant will do. And Shimei dwelt in Jerusalem many days.
39 But after three years, two of Shimei's servants ran away to Achish son of Maacah, king of Gath. And Shimei was told, Behold, your [runaway] servants are in Gath.
40 So Shimei arose, saddled his donkey, and went to Gath to King Achish to seek his servants, and brought them from Gath.
41 It was told Solomon that Shimei went from Jerusalem to Gath and had returned.
42 And the king sent for Shimei and said to him, Did I not make you swear by the Lord and warn you, saying, Know with certainty, on the day you go out and walk abroad anywhere, you shall surely die? And you said to me, I have heard your word. It is accepted.
43 Why then have you not kept the oath of the Lord and the command with which I have charged you?
44 The king also said to Shimei, You are aware in your own heart of all the evil you did to my father David; so the Lord will return your evil upon your own head.
45 But King Solomon shall be blessed, and the throne of David shall be established before the Lord forever.
46 So the king commanded Benaiah son of Jehoiada, who went out and struck down Shimei, and he died. And the kingdom was established in the hands of Solomon.