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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 Instructions for Solomon
1The days of David came near for him to die, and he charged Solomon his son, saying, 2“I am about to go the way of all the world. Be strong and be courageous.#Literally “as a man” 3You shall keep the charge of Yahweh your God, to walk in his ways, to keep his statutes, his commandments, his judgments, and his testimonies, as are written in the law of Moses, so that you may prosper in all that you do and everywhere you turn, 4so that Yahweh may establish his word which he spoke concerning me, saying, ‘If your sons take heed of their way, to walk before me in faithfulness, with all their heart and with all their soul, no man of yours will be cut off from the throne of Israel.’ ”
5“Moreover, you also know what Joab the son of Zeruiah did to me when he dealt with the two commanders of the armies of Israel, to Abner son of Ner and to Amasa son of Jether, and he murdered them and put the blood of war in a time of peace. He put the blood of war on the leather belt that was on his waist and on the sandals which were on his feet. 6You must act according to your wisdom, but you must not let his gray hair go down to Sheol in peace. 7Regarding the sons of Barzillai the Gileadite, you shall do loyal love and let them be among those who eat at your table, because they met me when I fled from Absalom your brother. 8And look, Shimei the son of Gera the son of the Benjaminite from Bahurim is with you. Now he cursed me severely#Literally “cursed me with a curse” when I went to Mahanaim, but he came down to meet me at the Jordan, so I swore to him by Yahweh, ‘I surely will not kill you with the sword.’ 9So then, do not leave him unpunished, for you are a wise man, and you will know what you must do to him. You must bring his grey hair down to Sheol with blood.”
10Then David slept with his ancestors#Or “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 thirty-three years in Jerusalem. 12Then Solomon sat on the throne of David his father, and his kingdom was firmly established.
Adonijah’s Persistence
13Adonijah the son of Haggith came to Bathsheba the mother of Solomon, and she said, “Are you coming in peace?”#Literally “Is peace your coming?” He said, “Peace.” 14Then he said, “May I have a word with you?”#Literally “A word is for me to you” Then she said, “Go on.” 15He said, “You know that the kingship was mine and that all Israel had set their face toward me as king, but the kingship turned around and became my brother’s, for it was from Yahweh for him to have it. 16Now one request I am asking from you, and you must not refuse me.”#Literally “not turn my face” Then she said to him, “Go on.” 17He said, “Please speak to King Solomon, for he will not refuse you, so that he will give to me Abishag the Shunnamite as wife.” 18Then Bathsheba said, “Very well, I will speak to the king concerning you.”
Solomon’s Responses to Adonijah, Joab, and Shimei
19Bathsheba came to King Solomon to speak to him concerning Adonijah, and the king got up to meet her, bowed down to her, and then sat on his throne. Then he set up a throne for the king’s mother, and she sat on his right. 20She said, “I have one small request I am asking from you. Do not refuse me.”#Literally “not turn my face” The king said to her, “Ask, my mother, for I will not refuse you.”#Literally “not turn your face” 21Then she said, “Let Abishag the Shunnamite be given to Adonijah your brother as wife.” 22King Solomon answered and said to his mother, “Why are you asking Abishag the Shunnamite for Adonijah? Ask for him also the kingdom, for he is my brother, older than I; and ask for him also Abiathar the priest, and for Joab the son of Zeruiah.” 23Then King Solomon swore by Yahweh, saying, “Thus may God do to me and thus may he add, if Adonijah hasn’t spoken this thing at the expense of his life. 24So then, as Yahweh lives,#Literally “the life of Yahweh” who has established me and seated me on the throne of my father David and who has established for me a dynasty as he promised, then surely Adonijah will be put to death today.” 25King Solomon sent through the hand of Benaiah the son of Jehoiada, so he struck him, and he died.
26To Abiathar the priest, the king said, “Go to Anathoth, to your field, for you deserve to die,#Literally “you are a man of death” but on this day I will not kill you, for you carried the ark of the Lord Yahweh before David my father, and because you endured hardship in all the hardship that my father endured.” 27So Solomon banished Abiathar from being priest to Yahweh, thus fulfilling the word which Yahweh had spoken concerning the house of Eli in Shiloh.
28When the message came to Joab (now Joab had supported#Literally “had turned after” Adonijah but had not supported#Literally “had not turned after” Absalom), he fled to the tent of Yahweh and grasped the horns of the altar. 29It was told to King Solomon that Joab had fled to the tent of Yahweh and was beside the altar. So Solomon sent word to Benaiah son of Jehoiada, saying, “Go and fall upon him.” 30So Benaiah went to the tent of Yahweh, and he said to him, “Thus says the king: ‘Come out.’ ” And he said, “No, for I want to die here.” So Benaiah returned a word to the king, saying, “Thus Joab spoke, and thus he answered me.” 31Then the king said to him, “Do as he spoke; fall upon him and bury him, and so you shall remove the innocent blood that Joab shed from on me and from on the house of my father. 32Yahweh will return his blood on his head, because he fell upon two men, more righteous and better than he, and he killed them with the sword, even though my father did not know it; namely Abner son of Ner, commander of the army of Israel, and Amasa son of Jether, commander of the army of Judah. 33And their blood will return on the head of Joab and on the head of his descendants forever, but for David and his descendants and for his house and his throne, there will be peace forever from Yahweh.” 34So Benaiah son of Jehoiada went up, and he fell on him and killed him, and he was buried in his house in the wilderness. 35Then the king appointed Benaiah the son of Jehoiada in his place over the army, and the king appointed Zadok the priest in place of Abiathar.
36Then the king sent and summoned Shimei, and he said to him, “Build yourself a house in Jerusalem and live there, but you must not go out anywhere whatsoever#Literally “where and where” from there. 37It shall happen that on the day you go out and cross over the Wadi#A valley that is dry most of the year, but contains a stream during the rainy season Kidron, know for certain that you will surely die.#Literally “dying you will die” Your blood will be on your head.” 38Shimei said to the king, “The word is good that my lord the king has spoken to me; thus will your servant do.” So Shimei lived in Jerusalem many days.
39It happened that at the end of three years, two of Shimei’s slaves fled to Achish, son of Maacah, the king of Gath. They told Shimei, saying, “Your slaves are here in Gath.” 40So Shimei got up and saddled his donkey, and he went to Gath, to Achish, to search for his slaves. So Shimei went and brought his slaves from Gath. 41When Solomon was told that Shimei had gone from Jerusalem to Gath and had returned, 42the king sent and summoned Shimei, and he said to him, “Did I not make you swear by Yahweh? I warned you, saying, ‘On the day you go out and you go anywhere whatsoever,#Literally “where and where” know for certain that you will surely die.’#Literally “dying you will die” And you said to me, ‘The word is good; I accept.’ 43Why have you not kept the oath of Yahweh and the command which I commanded you?” 44Then the king said to Shimei, “You know all the evil which your heart knows, what you did to David my father. Now Yahweh will return the evil on your head, 45but King Solomon will be blessed and the throne of David will be established before Yahweh forever.” 46Then the king commanded Benaiah son of Jehoiada, and he went out and fell upon him, and he died. So the kingdom was established in the hand of Solomon.