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2
David’s Charge to Solomon
1 When David’s time to die approached, he gave instructions to Solomon his son, saying,2 “I am going the way of all the earth [as dust to dust]. Be strong and prove yourself a man.3 Keep the charge of the Lord your God, [that is, fulfill your obligation to] walk in His ways, keep His statutes, His commandments, His precepts, and His testimonies, as it is written in the Law of Moses, so that you may succeed in everything that you do and wherever you turn,4 so that the Lord may fulfill His #Lit His word which He spoke.promise concerning me, saying, ‘If your sons are careful regarding their way [of life], to walk before Me in truth with all their heart and mind and with all their soul, you shall not fail to have a man (descendant) on the throne of Israel.’
5 Now you also know what Joab the son of Zeruiah [my sister] did to me, and what he did to the two commanders of the armies of Israel, to Abner the son of Ner and to Amasa the son of Jether, [both of] whom he murdered; #Lit he also shed.avenging the blood of war in [a time of] peace. And he put the [innocent] blood of war [of Abner and Amasa] on his #Lit he also shed.belt that was around his #Lit he also shed.waist, and on his sandals on his feet.6 So act in accordance with your wisdom, but do not let his gray head go down to Sheol (the place of the dead) in peace.7 But be gracious and kind to the sons of Barzillai the Gileadite, and let them be among those who [have the honor to] eat at your table; for they met me [with kindness] when I fled from your brother Absalom. 8 And look, you have with you Shimei the son of Gera, the Benjamite of Bahurim; he is the one who cursed me with a sinister curse the day I went to Mahanaim. But he came down to meet me at the Jordan [on my return], and I swore to him by the Lord, saying, ‘I will not put you to death with the sword.’9 But now do not let him go unpunished, for you are a wise man; and you will know what to do to him, and you will bring his gray head down to Sheol [covered] with blood.”
Death of David
10 So David lay down with his fathers [in death] and was buried in the #Not the walled city today called “Old Jerusalem” but a peninsula of land extending south from the “old city.”City of David.11 The time that David reigned over Israel was forty years: he reigned seven years in Hebron and thirty-three years in Jerusalem.12 Then Solomon sat on the throne of David his father, and his kingdom was firmly established.
13 Now Adonijah the son of [David and] Haggith came to Bathsheba the mother of Solomon. She said, “Do you come in peace?” And he said, “In peace.”14 Then he said, “I have something to say to you.” And she said, “Speak.”15 So he said, “You know that the kingdom belonged to me [as the eldest living son] and all Israel #Lit set their faces toward me.looked to me and expected me to be king. However, the kingdom has passed [from me] and became my brother’s, for it was his from the Lord.16 So now I am making one request of you; do not #Lit turn away my face; similarly in the following verses.refuse me.” And she said to him, “Speak.”17 He said, “Please speak to King Solomon, for he will not refuse you; ask that he may give me Abishag the Shunammite as a wife.” 18 Bathsheba replied, “Very well; I will speak to the king for you.”
Adonijah Executed
19 So Bathsheba went to King Solomon to speak to him for Adonijah. And the king rose to meet her, bowed before her, and sat down on his throne; then he had a throne set for her, the king’s mother, and she sat on his right.20 Then she said, “I am making one small request of you; do not refuse me.” And the king said to her, “Ask, my mother, for I will not refuse you.”21 So she said, “Let Abishag the Shunammite be given to your brother Adonijah as a wife.”22 King Solomon answered and said to his mother, “And why are you asking for #Even though Abishag remained a virgin while attending David during his final days, no one was closer to him. Bathsheba evidently did not view Abishag’s status as David’s former nurse to be problematic, but Solomon immediately perceived marriage to Abishag as a claim to the throne, which was Adonijah’s true intention in making the request. Abishag would have been considered an inheritance from David.Abishag the Shunammite for Adonijah? Ask the kingdom for him also--since he is my older brother--[ask it] for him and for Abiathar the priest and Joab the son of Zeruiah [his supporters]!”23 Then King Solomon swore by the Lord, saying, “May God do the same to me, and more also, if Adonijah has not requested this [deplorable] thing against his own #Lit soul.life.24 So now, as the Lord lives, who has established me and set me on the throne of David my father, and who has made me a house as He promised, Adonijah shall indeed be put to death today.”25 So King Solomon sent Benaiah the son of Jehoiada, and he #Lit fell upon.struck Adonijah and he died.
26 Then the king said to Abiathar the priest, “Go to Anathoth to your own fields, for you #Lit are a man of death.certainly deserve to die; but I will not put you to death this day, because you carried the ark of the Lord God before my father David, and you suffered everything that my father endured.”27 So Solomon dismissed Abiathar [a descendant of Eli] from being priest to the Lord, fulfilling the word of the Lord, which He had spoken concerning the house (descendants) of Eli in Shiloh.
Joab Executed
28 Now the news reached Joab, for Joab had supported and followed Adonijah, although he had not followed Absalom. So Joab fled to the [sacred] tent of the Lord and took hold of the horns of the altar [to seek asylum].29 King Solomon was told that Joab had fled to the tent of the Lord and was at that moment beside the altar. Then Solomon sent Benaiah the son of Jehoiada, saying, “Go, #Lit fall upon him.strike him down.”30 So Benaiah came to the tent of the Lord and told Joab, “This is what the king commands, ‘Come out of there.’” But Joab said, “No, for I will die here.” Then Benaiah brought word to the king again, saying, “This is what Joab said, and this is how he answered me.”31 The king said to him, “Do as he has said. #Lit fall upon.Strike him down and bury him, so that you may remove from me and from my father’s house the innocent blood which Joab shed.32 The Lord will return his bloody deeds upon his own head, because he struck down two men more righteous and honorable than he and killed them with the sword, without my father David knowing: Abner the son of Ner, commander of the army of Israel, and Amasa the son of Jether, commander of the army of Judah.33 So shall their blood return on the head of Joab and the heads of his descendants forever. But for David, his descendants, his house, and his throne, may there be peace from the Lord forever.”34 So Benaiah the son of Jehoiada went up [to the tabernacle] and struck and killed Joab, and he was buried at his own house in the wilderness [of Judah].35 The king appointed Benaiah the son of Jehoiada over the army in Joab’s place, and appointed Zadok the priest in place of Abiathar.
Shimei Executed
36 Now the king sent word and called for Shimei and said to him, “Build yourself a house in Jerusalem and live there. Do not go from there to #Lit here and there.any other place.37 For on the day you leave and cross over the #This was the border between the tribal territories of Judah and Benjamin, Shimei’s tribe. Confinement in Jerusalem would stop Shimei from plotting against Solomon.Brook Kidron, know for certain that you shall surely die; your blood shall be on your own head.”38 Shimei said to the king, “The word (ruling) is good. As my lord the king has said, so will your servant do.” So Shimei lived in Jerusalem for many days.
39 But it happened after three years, that two of Shimei’s servants ran away to Achish the son of Maacah, the king of #One of the five major cities of the Philistines.Gath. And Shimei was told, “Behold, your [runaway] servants are in Gath.”40 So Shimei arose, saddled his donkey, and went to Gath to [King] Achish to look for his servants. And Shimei went and brought them back from Gath.41 Now Solomon was told that Shimei had gone from Jerusalem to Gath, and had returned.42 So the king sent word and called for Shimei and said to him, “Did I not make you swear by the Lord and solemnly warn you, saying, ‘Know for certain that on the day you leave [Jerusalem] and go anywhere, you shall surely die’? And you said to me, ‘The word (ruling) I have heard is good.’43 Why then have you not kept the oath of the Lord, and the command which I gave you?”44 The king also said to Shimei, “You are aware in your own heart of all the evil you did to my father David; so the Lord shall return your evil on your own head.45 But King Solomon shall be blessed, and the throne of David shall be established before the Lord forever.”46 So the king commanded Benaiah the son of Jehoiada, and he went out and struck down Shimei, and he died.
So the kingdom was established in the hands of Solomon.
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.