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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.
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David’s Advice to Solomon—1
Chronicles 29:26–30
1 When David was about to die, he instructed his son Solomon, 2 “I’m about to leave this world. Be strong and mature. 3 Fulfill your duty to the Lord your God. Obey his directions, laws, commands, rules, and written instructions as they are recorded in Moses’ Teachings. Then you’ll succeed in everything you do wherever you may go. 4 ⌊You’ll succeed⌋ because the Lord will keep the promise he made to me: ‘If your descendants are faithful to me with all their hearts and lives, you will never fail to have an heir on the throne of Israel.’
5 “You know what Joab (Zeruiah’s son) did to me and to the two commanders of Israel’s army—Abner, son of Ner, and Amasa, son of Jether. Joab killed them. When there was peace, he shed blood as if it were wartime. With their blood he stained the belt around his waist and the shoes on his feet. 6 Use your wisdom. Don’t let that gray-haired, old man go to his grave peacefully.
7 “Be kind to the sons of Barzillai from Gilead. Let them eat at your table. They helped me when I was fleeing from your brother Absalom.
8 “Shimei, son of Gera from Bahurim in Benjamin, is still with you. He cursed me repeatedly when I went to Mahanaim. But when he came to meet me at the Jordan River, I took an oath by the Lord and said, ‘As long as I’m king, I won’t have you killed.’ 9 Now, don’t let him go unpunished. You are wise and know what to do to him: Put that gray-haired, old man into his grave by slaughtering him.”
10 David lay down in death with his ancestors and was buried in the City of David. 11 He ruled as king of Israel for 40 years. He ruled for 7 years in Hebron and for 33 years in Jerusalem.
Solomon Establishes His Authority
12 Solomon sat on his father David’s throne, and his power was firmly established.
13 Then Adonijah, son of Haggith, went to Bathsheba, Solomon’s mother. “Is this a friendly visit?” she asked.
“Yes,” he answered. 14 Then he added, “I have a matter ⌊to discuss⌋ with you.”
“What is it?” she asked.
15 He said, “You know the kingship was mine. All Israel expected me to be their king. But the kingship has been turned over to my brother because the Lord gave it to him. 16 Now I want to ask you for one thing. Don’t refuse me.”
“What is it?” she asked.
17 He said, “Please ask King Solomon to give me Abishag from Shunem as my wife. He will not refuse you.”
18 “Very well,” Bathsheba answered. “I will talk to the king for you.”
19 Bathsheba went to King Solomon to talk to him on Adonijah’s behalf. The king got up to meet her and bowed down in front of her. Then he sat on his throne. He had a throne brought for his mother, and she sat at his right side.
20 “I’m asking you for one little thing,” she said. “Don’t refuse me.”
“Ask, Mother,” the king told her. “I won’t refuse you.”
21 She replied, “Let Abishag from Shunem be given to your brother Adonijah as his wife.”
22 King Solomon then said, “Why do you ask that Abishag from Shunem be given to Adonijah? That would be the same as giving him the kingship. After all, he is my older brother. The priest Abiathar and Joab (Zeruiah’s son) are supporting him.”
23 King Solomon took an oath by the Lord and said, “May God strike me dead if Adonijah doesn’t pay with his life for this request! 24 The Lord set me on my father David’s throne and gave me a dynasty as he promised. So I solemnly swear, as the Lord who has established me lives, that Adonijah will be put to death today.” 25 King Solomon gave this task to Benaiah, son of Jehoiada. Benaiah attacked and killed Adonijah.
26 The king told the priest Abiathar, “Go to your land in Anathoth. You deserve to die, but I won’t kill you at this time because you carried the ark of the Almighty Lord ahead of my father David and because you shared all my father’s sufferings.” 27 So Solomon removed Abiathar as the Lord’s priest and fulfilled the Lord’s word spoken at Shiloh about Eli’s family.
28 The news reached Joab. (He had supported Adonijah, although he hadn’t supported Absalom.) So Joab fled to the Lord’s tent and clung to the horns of the altar. 29 After King Solomon heard that Joab had fled to the altar in the tent of the Lord, Solomon sent Benaiah, son of Jehoiada, to kill Joab.
30 When Benaiah came to the tent of the Lord, he told Joab, “The king says, ‘Come out.’”
“No,” Joab answered, “I’ll die here.”
So Benaiah reported to the king what Joab had said and how he had answered.
31 The king answered, “Do as he said. Kill him, and bury him. You can remove the innocent blood—the blood which Joab shed—from me and my father’s family. 32 The Lord will repay him for the slaughter he caused. Joab killed two honorable men who were better than he was. He used his sword to kill Abner (who was the son of Ner and the commander of Israel’s army) and Amasa (who was the son of Jether and the commander of Judah’s army). Joab did this without my father’s knowledge. 33 The responsibility for their blood will fall on Joab and his descendants forever. But may David, his descendants, family, and throne always receive peace from the Lord.”
34 Then Benaiah, son of Jehoiada, went and attacked Joab, killed him, and buried him at his home in the desert. 35 The king then appointed Benaiah, son of Jehoiada, to replace Joab as commander of the army. King Solomon also replaced Abiathar with the priest Zadok.
36 The king summoned Shimei and said to him, “Build a house for yourself in Jerusalem, and stay there. Don’t leave ⌊the city⌋ to go anywhere else. 37 But the day you leave and cross the brook in the Kidron Valley, you can be certain that you will die. You will be responsible for your own death.”
38 “Very well,” Shimei answered. “I’ll do just what Your Majesty said.”
So Shimei stayed in Jerusalem for a long time. 39 But after three years, two of Shimei’s slaves fled to Gath’s King Achish, son of Maacah. Shimei was told that his slaves were in Gath, 40 so he saddled his donkey and went to Achish in Gath to search for his slaves. Shimei went to Gath and got his slaves.
41 After Solomon heard that Shimei had gone from Jerusalem to Gath and back, 42 he summoned Shimei. Solomon asked him, “Didn’t I make you take an oath by the Lord? Didn’t I warn you that if you left ⌊the city⌋ to go anywhere, you could be certain that you would die? Didn’t you say to me, ‘Very well. I’ll do just what you said’? 43 Why didn’t you keep your oath to the Lord and obey the command I gave you? 44 Shimei, you know in your heart all the evil that you did to my father David. The Lord is going to pay you back for the evil you have done. 45 But King Solomon is blessed, and David’s dynasty will always be firmly established by the Lord.”
46 Then the king gave orders to Benaiah, son of Jehoiada. He went to attack and kill Shimei.
Solomon’s power as king was now firmly established.