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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
David's Last Instructions to Solomon
1When David was about to die, he called his son Solomon and gave him his last instructions: 2“My time to die has come. Be confident and determined, 3and do what the Lord your God orders you to do. Obey all his laws and commands, as written in the Law of Moses, so that wherever you go you may prosper in everything you do. 4If you obey him, the Lord will keep the promise he made when he told me that my descendants would rule Israel as long as they were careful to obey his commands faithfully with all their heart and soul.
5 # 2 S 3.27; 2 S 20.10 “There is something else. You remember what Joab did to me by killing the two commanders of Israel's armies, Abner son of Ner and Amasa son of Jether. You remember how he murdered them in time of peace as revenge for deaths they had caused in time of war. He killed innocent men,#2.5: Some ancient translations innocent men; Hebrew men in battle. and now I bear the responsibility for what he did, and I suffer#2.5: Some ancient translations I bear … and I suffer; Hebrew he bears … and he suffers. the consequences. 6You know what to do; you must not let him die a natural death.
7 # 2 S 17.27-29 “But show kindness to the sons of Barzillai from Gilead and take care of them, because they were kind to me when I was fleeing from your brother Absalom.
8 # 2 S 16.5-13; 19.16-23 “There is also Shimei son of Gera, from the town of Bahurim in Benjamin. He cursed me bitterly the day I went to Mahanaim, but when he met me at the Jordan River, I gave him my solemn promise in the name of the Lord that I would not have him killed. 9But you must not let him go unpunished. You know what to do, and you must see to it that he is put to death.”
The Death of David
10David died and was buried in David's City. 11#2 S 5.4,5; 1 Ch 3.4 He had been king of Israel for forty years, ruling seven years in Hebron and thirty-three years in Jerusalem. 12#1 Ch 29.23 Solomon succeeded his father David as king, and his royal power was firmly established.
The Death of Adonijah
13Then Adonijah, whose mother was Haggith, went to Bathsheba, who was Solomon's mother. “Is this a friendly visit?” she asked.
“It is,” he answered, 14and then he added, “I have something to ask of you.”
“What is it?” she asked.
15He answered, “You know that I should have become king and that everyone in Israel expected it. But it happened differently, and my brother became king because it was the Lord's will. 16And now I have one request to make; please do not refuse me.”
“What is it?” Bathsheba asked.
17 # 1 K 1.3,4 He answered, “Please ask King Solomon—I know he won't refuse you—to let me have Abishag, the young woman from Shunem, as my wife.”
18“Very well,” she answered. “I will speak to the king for you.”
19So Bathsheba went to the king to speak to him on behalf of Adonijah. The king stood up to greet his mother and bowed to her. Then he sat on his throne and had another one brought in on which she sat at his right. 20She said, “I have a small favor to ask of you; please do not refuse me.”
“What is it, mother?” he asked. “I will not refuse you.”
21She answered, “Let your brother Adonijah have Abishag as his wife.”
22“Why do you ask me to give Abishag to him?” the king asked. “You might as well ask me to give him the throne too. After all, he is my older brother, and Abiathar the priest and Joab are on his side!”#2.22: Some ancient translations and Abiathar the priest … on his side; Hebrew unclear. 23Then Solomon made a solemn promise in the Lord's name, “May God strike me dead if I don't make Adonijah pay with his life for asking this! 24The Lord has firmly established me on the throne of my father David; he has kept his promise and given the kingdom to me and my descendants. I swear by the living Lord that Adonijah will die this very day!”
25So King Solomon gave orders to Benaiah, who went out and killed Adonijah.
Abiathar's Banishment and Joab's Death
26 # 2 S 15.24; 1 S 22.20-23 Then King Solomon said to Abiathar the priest, “Go to your country home in Anathoth. You deserve to die, but I will not have you put to death now, for you were in charge of the Lord's Covenant Box while you were with my father David, and you shared in all his troubles.” 27#1 S 2.27-36 Then Solomon dismissed Abiathar from serving as a priest of the Lord, and so made come true what the Lord had said in Shiloh about the priest Eli and his descendants.
28Joab heard what had happened. (He had supported Adonijah, but not Absalom.) So he fled to the Tent of the Lord's presence and took hold of the corners of the altar.#2.28: corners of the altar: See 1.50. 29When the news reached King Solomon that Joab had fled to the Tent and was by the altar, Solomon sent a messenger to Joab to ask him why he had fled to the altar. Joab answered that he had fled to the Lord because he was afraid of Solomon. So King Solomon sent Benaiah#2.29: One ancient translation Solomon sent a messenger … sent Benaiah; Hebrew Solomon sent Benaiah. to kill Joab. 30He went to the Tent of the Lord's presence and said to Joab, “The king orders you to come out.”
“No,” Joab answered. “I will die here.”
Benaiah went back to the king and told him what Joab had said.
31“Do what Joab says,” Solomon answered. “Kill him and bury him. Then neither I nor any other of David's descendants will any longer be held responsible for what Joab did when he killed innocent men. 32The Lord will punish Joab for those murders, which he committed#2.32: will punish … committed; or will kill Joab, because he committed those murders. without my father David's knowledge. Joab killed two innocent men who were better men than he: Abner, commander of the army of Israel, and Amasa, commander of the army of Judah. 33The punishment for their murders will fall on Joab and on his descendants forever. But the Lord will always give success to David's descendants who sit on his throne.”
34So Benaiah went to the Tent of the Lord's presence and killed Joab, and he was buried at his home in the open country. 35The king made Benaiah commander of the army in Joab's place and put Zadok the priest in Abiathar's place.
The Death of Shimei
36Then the king sent for Shimei and said to him, “Build a house for yourself here in Jerusalem. Live in it and don't leave the city. 37If you ever leave and go beyond Kidron Brook, you will certainly die—and you yourself will be to blame.”
38“Very well, Your Majesty,” Shimei answered. “I will do what you say.” So he lived in Jerusalem a long time.
39Three years later, however, two of Shimei's slaves ran away to the king of Gath, Achish son of Maacah. When Shimei heard that they were in Gath, 40he saddled his donkey and went to King Achish in Gath, to find his slaves. He found them and brought them back home. 41When Solomon heard what Shimei had done, 42he sent for him and said, “I made you promise in the Lord's name not to leave Jerusalem. And I warned you that if you ever did, you would certainly die. Did you not agree to it and say that you would obey me? 43Why, then, have you broken your promise and disobeyed my command? 44You know very well all the wrong that you did to my father David. The Lord will punish you for it. 45But he will bless me, and he will make David's kingdom secure forever.”
46Then the king gave orders to Benaiah, who went out and killed Shimei. Solomon was now in complete control.