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1The time came near for David to die; so he commissioned Shlomo his son as follows: 2“I am going the way of all the earth. Therefore, be strong; show yourself a man. 3Observe the charge of Adonai your God to go in his ways and keep his regulations, mitzvot, rulings and instructions in accordance with what is written in the Torah of Moshe; so that you will succeed in all you do and wherever you go. 4If you do, Adonai will fulfill what he promised me when he said, ‘If your children pay attention to how they live, conducting themselves before me honestly with all their heart and being, you will never lack a man on the throne of Isra’el.’
5“Moreover, you are aware of what Yo’av the son of Tz’ruyah did to me, that is, what he did to the two commanders of the armies of Isra’el, Avner the son of Ner and ‘Amasa the son of Yeter — he killed them, shedding the blood of war in peacetime, putting the blood of war on the belt around his waist and the shoes on his feet. 6Therefore, act according to your wisdom; don’t let his gray head go down to the grave in peace.
7“But show kindness to the sons of Barzillai the Gil‘adi. Include them with those who eat at your table, because they came and stood with me when I was fleeing from Avshalom your brother.
8“Finally, you have with you Shim‘i the son of Gera the Binyamini, from Bachurim. He laid a terrible curse on me when I was on my way to Machanayim; but he came down to meet me at the Yarden; so I swore to him by Adonai that I would not have him put to death with the sword. 9Now, however, you should not let him go unpunished. You are a wise man, and you will know what you should do to him — you will bring his gray head down to the grave with blood.”
10Then David slept with his ancestors and was buried in the City of David. 11David had ruled Isra’el for forty years — seven years in Hevron and thirty-three years in Yerushalayim.
12Shlomo sat on the throne of David his father; and his rule had become firmly established, 13when Adoniyah the son of Haggit came to Bat-Sheva the mother of Shlomo. She asked, “Have you come as a friend?” He answered, “Yes, as a friend.” 14Then he continued, “I have something to say to you.” She said, “Go on.” 15He said, “You know that the kingdom should have been mine, that all Isra’el was looking to me to be their ruler. No matter; the kingdom has turned around and become my brother’s, because Adonai gave it to him. 16But now I ask one favor of you; don’t deny me.” “Go on,” she said. 17He said, “Please speak to Shlomo the king — for he won’t say ‘No’ to you — and ask him to give me Avishag the Shunamit as my wife.” 18Bat-Sheva said, “All right, I will speak to the king on your behalf.”
19So Bat-Sheva went to King Shlomo to speak to him on behalf of Adoniyah. The king rose to meet her and bowed down to her. Then he sat down on his throne and had a throne set up for the king’s mother, so that she sat at his right. 20She said, “I am asking one small favor of you; don’t deny me.” The king said to her, “Ask, mother; I won’t deny you.” 21She said, “Let Avishag the Shunamit be given to Adoniyah your brother as his wife.” 22King Shlomo answered his mother, “Why are you asking Avishag the Shunamit for Adoniyah? Ask the kingdom for him too! After all, he’s my older brother! Yes, for him, and for Evyatar the cohen and for Yo’av the son of Tz’ruyah!” 23Then King Shlomo swore by Adonai, “May God do terrible things to me and worse if Adoniyah hasn’t condemned himself to death with this request! 24Now therefore, as Adonai lives, who has established me, put me on the throne of David my father and set up a dynasty for me, as he promised, Adoniyah will certainly be put to death today.” 25King Shlomo commissioned B’nayah the son of Y’hoyada, and he struck him down, so that he died.
26To Evyatar the cohen the king said, “You, get yourself to ‘Anatot, to your own fields. You deserve to die; but I won’t put you to death just now; since you did carry the ark of adonai Elohim before David my father; and you suffered together with my father in everything he suffered.” 27So Shlomo forced Evyatar out of his task as cohen to Adonai, so that what Adonai had said in Shiloh about the family of ‘Eli might be fulfilled.
28When the news came to Yo’av, he fled to the tent of Adonai and took hold of the horns of the altar; for Yo’av had given his support to Adoniyah, even though he had not supported Avshalom. 29King Shlomo was told, “Yo’av has fled to the tent of Adonai; he’s there by the altar.” Shlomo sent B’nayah the son of Y’hoyada with the order, “Go, strike him down.” 30B’nayah came to the tent of Adonai and said to him, “The king says: leave!” He answered, “No, I’d rather die here.” B’nayah brought the message back to the king, “This is what Yo’av said to me.” 31The king answered him, “Do what he said — strike him down, and bury him. In this way you will take away from me and my father’s family the blood which Yo’av shed for no reason. 32Adonai will bring his blood back on his own head, because he struck down two men more righteous and better than he — he killed them with the sword without my father David’s awareness: Avner the son of Ner, commander of the army of Isra’el, and ‘Amasa the son of Yeter, commander of the army of Y’hudah. 33In this way their blood will return on the head of Yo’av and his descendants forever; but for David, his descendants, his family and his throne there will be peace forever from Adonai.” 34So B’nayah the son of Y’hoyada went up, struck him down and killed him; he was buried in his own house in the desert. 35The king put B’nayah the son of Y’hoyada in charge of the army instead of him, and the king replaced Evyatar with Tzadok the cohen.
36The king summoned Shim‘i and said to him, “Build yourself a house in Yerushalayim, and live there; don’t go outside the city walls. 37Know for a fact that on the day you go out and cross Vadi Kidron, you will certainly die; your blood will be on your own head.” 38Shim‘i answered the king, “What you have said is good; as my lord the king has said, so will your servant do.” So Shim‘i lived in Yerushalayim for a long time.
39But after three years, two of Shim‘i’s slaves ran away and went to Akhish son of Ma‘akhah, king of Gat. They told Shim‘i, “Your slaves are in Gat.” 40So Shim‘i set out, saddled his donkey and went to Akhish in Gat to look for his slaves; then Shim‘i returned, bringing his slaves from Gat.
41Shlomo was told that Shim‘i had gone from Yerushalayim to Gat and back. 42The king summoned Shim‘i and said to him, “Didn’t I have you swear by Adonai and forewarn you by telling you, ‘Know for a fact that on the day you leave and go anywhere outside the city, you will certainly die’? and you answered me, ‘What you’re saying is good; I hear it.’ 43Why, then, haven’t you kept the oath of Adonai and the mitzvah I charged you with?” 44Moreover, the king said to Shim‘i, “You know in your own heart all the terrible things you did to David my father; therefore Adonai will bring back your wickedness on your own head. 45But King Shlomo will be blessed, and the throne of David will be established before Adonai forever.” 46So the king gave the order to B’nayah the son of Y’hoyada, and he went out and struck him down, so that he died.
Thus the kingdom was established in Shlomo’s hands.
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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.