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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.
David’s Dying Instructions to Solomon
1As the time approached for David to die,#Gn 47:29; Nm 27:13 he ordered his son Solomon, 2“As for me, I am going the way of all of the earth.#Jos 23:14 Be strong and be a man,#Jos 1:6-7,9 3and keep your obligation to the Lord your God to walk in his ways and to keep his statutes, commands, ordinances, and decrees. This is written in the law of Moses, so that you will have success in everything you do#Dt 29:9; 1Ch 22:12-13 and wherever you turn, 4and so that the Lord will fulfill his promise that he made to me: ‘If your sons guard their way to walk faithfully before me with all their heart and all their soul,#Dt 6:5; Mt 22:37 you will never fail to have a man on the throne of Israel.’#2Sm 7:12-13; 1Kg 8:25; 9:5
5“You also know what Joab son of Zeruiah did to me#2Sm 18:5,12,14 and what he did to the two commanders of Israel’s army, Abner son of Ner#2Sm 3:27 and Amasa son of Jether.#2Sm 20:10 He murdered them in a time of peace to avenge blood shed in war. He spilled that blood on his own waistband and on the sandals of his feet.#2:5 LXX, Old Lat read on my waistband and... my feet; 31 6Act according to your wisdom, and do not let his gray head descend to Sheol in peace.
7“Show kindness to the sons of Barzillai the Gileadite and let them be among those who eat at your table#2Sm 9:7; 19:28 because they supported me when I fled from your brother Absalom.#2Sm 19:31-39
8“Keep an eye on Shimei son of Gera, the Benjaminite from Bahurim who is with you. He uttered malicious curses against me the day I went to Mahanaim.#2Sm 16:5-13 But he came down to meet me at the Jordan River, and I swore to him by the Lord: ‘I will never kill you with the sword.’#2Sm 19:16-23 9So don’t let him go unpunished, for you are a wise man. You know how to deal with him to bring his gray head down to Sheol with blood.”
10Then David rested with his fathers#Ac 2:29; 13:36 and was buried in the city of David.#2Sm 5:7 11The length of time David reigned over Israel was forty years: he reigned seven years in Hebron and thirty-three years in Jerusalem.#2Sm 5:4-5; 1Ch 29:27 12Solomon sat on the throne of his father David, and his kingship was firmly established.#1Kg 2:46; 1Ch 17:14
Adonijah’s Foolish Request
13Now Adonijah son of Haggith#1Kg 1:5,51-53 came to Bathsheba, Solomon’s mother. She asked, “Do you come peacefully?”
“Peacefully,” he replied,#1Sm 16:4-5 14and then asked, “May I talk with you?” #2:14 Lit then said, “I have a word for you.”
“Go ahead,” she answered.
15“You know the kingship was mine,”#1Kg 1:11 he said. “All Israel expected me to be king, but then the kingship was turned over to my brother,#1Kg 1:38-46 for the Lord gave it to him.#1Ch 23:9-10; 28:5,7; Dn 2:21; 4:17; Jn 19:11; Rm 13:1 16So now I have just one request of you; don’t turn me down.”#2:16 Lit don’t make me turn my face
She said to him, “Go on.”
17He replied, “Please speak to King Solomon since he won’t turn you down. Let him give me Abishag the Shunammite#1Kg 1:3-4,15 as a wife.”
18“Very well,” Bathsheba replied. “I will speak to the king for you.”
19So Bathsheba went to King Solomon to speak to him about Adonijah. The king stood up to greet her, bowed to her, sat down on his throne, and had a throne placed for the king’s mother.#2Sm 15:16; 1Kg 15:13 So she sat down at his right hand.#Ps 110:1; Mt 20:21
20Then she said, “I have just one small request of you. Don’t turn me down.”
“Go ahead and ask, mother,” the king replied, “for I won’t turn you down.”
21So she said, “Let Abishag the Shunammite be given to your brother Adonijah as a wife.”
22King Solomon answered his mother, “Why are you requesting Abishag the Shunammite for Adonijah? Since he is my elder brother,#1Kg 1:6; 1Ch 3:2,5 you might as well ask the kingship for him,#2Sm 16:20-22 for the priest Abiathar, and for Joab son of Zeruiah.”#2:22 LXX, Vg, Syr read kingship for him, and on his side are Abiathar the priest and Joab son of Zeruiah#1Kg 1:7 23Then King Solomon took an oath by the Lord: “May God punish me and do so severely#Ru 1:17; 1Sm 3:17 if Adonijah has not made this request at the cost of his life. 24And now, as the Lord lives — the one who established me, seated me on the throne of my father David, and made me a dynasty as he promised#2Sm 7:11-13  — I swear Adonijah will be put to death today!” 25Then King Solomon dispatched Benaiah son of Jehoiada,#1Kg 1:8,26,38 who struck down Adonijah, and he died.
Abiathar’s Banishment
26The king said to the priest Abiathar,#1Kg 1:7,19 “Go to your fields in Anathoth.#Jos 21:18; Jr 1:1 Even though you deserve to die, I will not put you to death today, since you carried the ark of the Lord God in the presence of my father David#2Sm 15:24-25,29 and you suffered through all that my father suffered.”#1Sm 22:20-23; 2Sm 19:11 27So Solomon banished Abiathar from being the Lord’s priest, and it fulfilled the Lord’s prophecy he had spoken at Shiloh against Eli’s family.#1Sm 2:31-35
Joab’s Execution
28The news reached Joab. Since he had supported Adonijah#1Kg 1:7 but not Absalom,#2Sm 18:1-5 Joab fled to the Lord’s tabernacle and took hold of the horns of the altar.#Ex 21:12-14; 1Kg 1:50
29It was reported to King Solomon: “Joab has fled to the Lord’s tabernacle and is now beside the altar.” Then Solomon sent#2:29 LXX adds Joab a message: “What is the matter with you, that you have fled to the altar?” And Joab replied, “Because I feared you, I have fled to the Lord.” And Solomon the king sent Benaiah son of Jehoiada#1Kg 1:8 and told him, “Go and strike him down!” #Ex 12:12,14; 2Sm 3:27; 18:14; 20:10
30So Benaiah went to the tabernacle and said to Joab, “This is what the king says: ‘Come out!’” #Ex 21:14
But Joab said, “No, for I will die here.”
So Benaiah took a message back to the king, “This is what Joab said, and this is how he answered me.”
31The king said to him, “Do just as he says. Strike him down and bury him in order to remove from me and from my father’s family the blood that Joab shed without just cause.#Nm 35:33; Dt 21:8-9 32The Lord will bring back his own blood on his head because he struck down two men more righteous and better than he, without my father David’s knowledge. With his sword, Joab murdered Abner#2Sm 3:26-27 son of Ner, commander of Israel’s army, and Amasa#2Sm 20:8-10 son of Jether, commander of Judah’s army. 33The responsibility for their deaths will come back to Joab and to his descendants#2:33 Lit Their blood will return on the head of Joab and on the head of his seed forever, but for David, his descendants, his dynasty, and his throne, there will be peace from the Lord forever.”#2Sm 3:28-29
34Benaiah son of Jehoiada#2Kg 2:25 went up, struck down Joab, and put him to death. He was buried at his house in the wilderness.#2Sm 2:32 35Then the king appointed Benaiah son of Jehoiada in Joab’s place over the army,#1Kg 4:4 and he appointed the priest Zadok in Abiathar’s place.
Shimei’s Banishment and Execution
36Then the king summoned Shimei#2Sm 16:5-13; 1Kg 2:8-9 and said to him, “Build a house for yourself in Jerusalem and live there, but don’t leave there and go anywhere else. 37On the day you do leave and cross the Kidron Valley,#Jn 18:1 know for sure that you will certainly die. Your blood will be on your own head.”#Gn 2:17; 2Sm 1:16
38Shimei said to the king, “The sentence is fair; your servant will do as my lord the king has spoken.” And Shimei lived in Jerusalem for a long time.
39But then, at the end of three years, two of Shimei’s slaves ran away to Achish#1Sm 27:2 son of Maacah, king of Gath.#Jos 13:3; 1Sm 6:16-17; 21:10 Shimei was informed, “Look, your slaves are in Gath.” 40So Shimei saddled his donkey and set out to Achish at Gath to search for his slaves. He went and brought them back from Gath.
41It was reported to Solomon that Shimei had gone from Jerusalem to Gath and had returned. 42So the king summoned Shimei and said to him, “Didn’t I make you swear by the Lord and warn you, saying, ‘On the day you leave and go anywhere else, know for sure that you will certainly die’? And you said to me, ‘The sentence is fair; I will obey.’ 43So why have you not kept the Lord’s oath and the command that I gave you?” 44The king also said, “You yourself know all the evil that you did to my father David.#1Kg 2:8-9 Therefore, the Lord has brought back your evil on your head, 45but King Solomon will be blessed, and David’s throne will remain established before the Lord forever.”#2Sm 7:13
46Then the king commanded Benaiah son of Jehoiada, and he went out and struck Shimei down, and he died. So the kingdom was established in Solomon’s hand.#1Kg 2:12; 2Ch 1:1