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2
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.
2
1And the days of Dawiḏ drew near to die, and he commanded Shelomoh his son, saying,
2“I am going the way of all the earth. And you shall be strong, and be a man.
3“And guard the Charge of יהוה your Elohim: to walk in His ways, to guard His laws, His commands, His right-rulings, and His witnesses, as it is written in the Torah of Mosheh, so that you do wisely all that you do and wherever you turn;
4so that יהוה does establish His word which He spoke concerning me, saying, ‘If your sons guard their way, to walk before Me in truth with all their heart and with all their being,’ saying, ‘there is not to cease a man of yours on the throne of Yisra’ĕl.’
5“And also, you know what Yo’aḇ son of Tseruyah did to me, and what he did to the two commanders of the armies of Yisra’ĕl, to Aḇnĕr son of Nĕr and Amasa son of Yether, that he killed them, and shed the blood of battle in peace, and put the blood of battle on his belt that was around his waist, and on his sandals that were on his feet.
6“So act according to your wisdom, and do not let his grey hair go down to She’ol in peace.
7“But show loving-commitment to the sons of Barzillai the Gil‛aḏite, and let them be among those who eat at your table, for so they came to me when I fled from Aḇshalom your brother.
8“And see, with you is Shim‛i son of Gĕra, the Binyamite from Baḥurim, who cursed me with a grievous cursing in the day when I went to Maḥanayim. But he came down to meet me at the Yardĕn, and I swore to him by יהוה, saying, ‘I shall not put you to death with the sword.’
9“And now, do not leave him unpunished, for you are a wise man and know what you should do to him, and shall bring his grey hair down to She’ol with blood.”
10And Dawiḏ slept with his fathers, and was buried in the City of Dawiḏ.
11And the days that Dawiḏ reigned over Yisra’ĕl was forty years. He reigned seven years in Ḥeḇron, and in Yerushalayim he reigned thirty-three years.
12And Shelomoh sat on the throne of his father Dawiḏ. And his reign was firmly established.
13And Aḏoniyahu son of Ḥaggith came to Bathsheḇa the mother of Shelomoh, and she said, “Do you come in peace?” And he said, “Peace.”
14And he said, “I have a word for you,” and she said, “Speak.”
15And he said, “You know that the reign was mine, and all Yisra’ĕl had set their faces toward me, that I should reign. But the reign has been turned around, and has become my brother’s, for it was his from יהוה.
16“And now, I am making one request of you, do not refuse me.” And she said to him, “Say it.”
17And he said, “Please speak to Sovereign Shelomoh – for he would not refuse you – to give me Aḇishaḡ the Shunammite as wife.”
18And Bathsheḇa said, “Good, let me speak for you to the sovereign.”
19And Bathsheḇa came to Sovereign Shelomoh, to speak to him for Aḏoniyahu. And the sovereign rose up to meet her and bowed down to her, and sat down on his throne and had a throne set for the sovereign’s mother. So she sat at his right hand.
20And she said, “I am making one small request of you, do not refuse me.” And the sovereign said to her, “Ask it, my mother, for I do not refuse you.”
21Then she said, “Let Aḇishaḡ the Shunammite be given to Aḏoniyahu your brother as wife.”
22And Sovereign Shelomoh answered and said to his mother, “Now why do you ask Aḇishaḡ the Shunammite for Aḏoniyahu? Ask for him the reign also – for he is my older brother – for him, and for Eḇyathar the priest, and for Yo’aḇ son of Tseruyah.”
23And Sovereign Shelomoh swore by יהוה, saying, “Elohim does so to me, and more also, if Aḏoniyahu has not spoken this word against his own life!
24“And now, as יהוה lives, who established me and set me on the throne of Dawiḏ my father, and who has made me a house, as He promised, Aḏoniyahu shall be put to death today!”
25And Sovereign Shelomoh sent by the hand of Benayahu son of Yehoyaḏa, and he fell upon him, and he died.
26Then the sovereign said to Eḇyathar the priest, “Go to Anathoth, to your own fields, for you deserve death. But I do not put you to death at this time, because you did bear the ark of the Master יהוה before my father Dawiḏ, and because you were afflicted in all my father was afflicted in.”
27So Shelomoh dismissed Eḇyathar from being priest to יהוה, to fill the word of יהוה which He spoke concerning the house of Ěli at Shiloh.
28And news came to Yo’aḇ, for Yo’aḇ had turned aside after Aḏoniyah, though he did not turn aside after Aḇshalom. And Yo’aḇ fled to the Tent of יהוה, and took hold of the horns of the slaughter-place.
29And the report came to Sovereign Shelomoh that Yo’aḇ had fled to the Tent of יהוה, and see, he is by the slaughter-place. Then Shelomoh sent Benayahu son of Yehoyaḏa, saying, “Go, fall on him.”
30So Benayahu came to the Tent of יהוה and said to him, “Thus said the sovereign, ‘Come out!’ ” And he said, “No, for here I die.” And Benayahu brought back word to the sovereign, saying, “Thus said Yo’aḇ, and thus he answered me.”
31And the sovereign said to him, “Do as he has said, and fall upon him. And you shall bury him, so that you take away from me and from the house of my father the blood which Yo’aḇ shed without cause.
32“Thus יהוה shall return his blood on his head, because he had fallen on two men more righteous and better than he, and killed them with the sword, while my father Dawiḏ did not know it: Aḇnĕr son of Nĕr, commander of the army of Yisra’ĕl, and Amasa son of Yether, commander of the army of Yehuḏah.
33“So shall their blood return upon the head of Yo’aḇ and upon the head of his seed forever. But upon Dawiḏ and his seed, upon his house and his throne, there is to be peace forever from יהוה.”
34Then Benayahu son of Yehoyaḏa went up and fell upon him and put him to death. And he was buried in his own house in the wilderness.
35And the sovereign put Benayahu son of Yehoyaḏa in his place over the army, and the sovereign put Tsaḏoq the priest in the place of Eḇyathar.
36And the sovereign sent and called for Shim‛i, and said to him, “Build yourself a house in Yerushalayim and dwell there, and do not go out from there anywhere.
37“And it shall be, on the day you go out and pass over the wadi Qiḏron, know for certain that you shall die – your blood is on your own head.”
38And Shim‛i said to the sovereign, “The word is good. As my master the sovereign has said, so your servant does.” So Shim‛i dwelt in Yerushalayim many days.
39And it came to be at the end of three years, that two slaves of Shim‛i fled to Aḵish son of Ma‛aḵah, sovereign of Gath. And they informed Shim‛i, saying, “See, your slaves are in Gath!”
40And Shim‛i rose up, and saddled his donkey, and went to Aḵish at Gath to look for his slaves. And Shim‛i went and brought his slaves from Gath.
41And Shelomoh was told that Shim‛i had gone from Yerushalayim to Gath and had come back.
42So the sovereign sent and called for Shim‛i, and said to him, “Did I not make you swear by יהוה, and warn you, saying, ‘Know for certain that on the day you leave to go anywhere, you shall certainly die’? And you said to me, ‘The word I have heard is good.’
43“And why have you not guarded the oath of יהוה and the command that I gave you?”
44The sovereign also said to Shim‛i, “You shall know all the evil that your heart has known, that you did to my father Dawiḏ. And יהוה shall return your evil on your own head.
45“But Sovereign Shelomoh is blessed, and the throne of Dawiḏ is established before יהוה forever.”
46So the sovereign commanded Benayahu son of Yehoyaḏa, and he went out and fell on him, and he died. And the reign was established in the hand of Shelomoh.