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David’s Dying Instructions to Solomon
1As the time approached for David to die,#Gn 47:29; Nm 27:13 he ordered his son Solomon, 2“As for me, I am going the way of all of the earth.#Jos 23:14 Be strong and be a man,#Jos 1:6-7,9 3and keep your obligation to the Lord your God to walk in his ways and to keep his statutes, commands, ordinances, and decrees. This is written in the law of Moses, so that you will have success in everything you do#Dt 29:9; 1Ch 22:12-13 and wherever you turn, 4and so that the Lord will fulfill his promise that he made to me: ‘If your sons guard their way to walk faithfully before me with all their heart and all their soul,#Dt 6:5; Mt 22:37 you will never fail to have a man on the throne of Israel.’#2Sm 7:12-13; 1Kg 8:25; 9:5
5“You also know what Joab son of Zeruiah did to me#2Sm 18:5,12,14 and what he did to the two commanders of Israel’s army, Abner son of Ner#2Sm 3:27 and Amasa son of Jether.#2Sm 20:10 He murdered them in a time of peace to avenge blood shed in war. He spilled that blood on his own waistband and on the sandals of his feet.#2:5 LXX, Old Lat read on my waistband and... my feet; 31 6Act according to your wisdom, and do not let his gray head descend to Sheol in peace.
7“Show kindness to the sons of Barzillai the Gileadite and let them be among those who eat at your table#2Sm 9:7; 19:28 because they supported me when I fled from your brother Absalom.#2Sm 19:31-39
8“Keep an eye on Shimei son of Gera, the Benjaminite from Bahurim who is with you. He uttered malicious curses against me the day I went to Mahanaim.#2Sm 16:5-13 But he came down to meet me at the Jordan River, and I swore to him by the Lord: ‘I will never kill you with the sword.’#2Sm 19:16-23 9So don’t let him go unpunished, for you are a wise man. You know how to deal with him to bring his gray head down to Sheol with blood.”
10Then David rested with his fathers#Ac 2:29; 13:36 and was buried in the city of David.#2Sm 5:7 11The length of time David reigned over Israel was forty years: he reigned seven years in Hebron and thirty-three years in Jerusalem.#2Sm 5:4-5; 1Ch 29:27 12Solomon sat on the throne of his father David, and his kingship was firmly established.#1Kg 2:46; 1Ch 17:14
Adonijah’s Foolish Request
13Now Adonijah son of Haggith#1Kg 1:5,51-53 came to Bathsheba, Solomon’s mother. She asked, “Do you come peacefully?”
“Peacefully,” he replied,#1Sm 16:4-5 14and then asked, “May I talk with you?” #2:14 Lit then said, “I have a word for you.”
“Go ahead,” she answered.
15“You know the kingship was mine,”#1Kg 1:11 he said. “All Israel expected me to be king, but then the kingship was turned over to my brother,#1Kg 1:38-46 for the Lord gave it to him.#1Ch 23:9-10; 28:5,7; Dn 2:21; 4:17; Jn 19:11; Rm 13:1 16So now I have just one request of you; don’t turn me down.”#2:16 Lit don’t make me turn my face
She said to him, “Go on.”
17He replied, “Please speak to King Solomon since he won’t turn you down. Let him give me Abishag the Shunammite#1Kg 1:3-4,15 as a wife.”
18“Very well,” Bathsheba replied. “I will speak to the king for you.”
19So Bathsheba went to King Solomon to speak to him about Adonijah. The king stood up to greet her, bowed to her, sat down on his throne, and had a throne placed for the king’s mother.#2Sm 15:16; 1Kg 15:13 So she sat down at his right hand.#Ps 110:1; Mt 20:21
20Then she said, “I have just one small request of you. Don’t turn me down.”
“Go ahead and ask, mother,” the king replied, “for I won’t turn you down.”
21So she said, “Let Abishag the Shunammite be given to your brother Adonijah as a wife.”
22King Solomon answered his mother, “Why are you requesting Abishag the Shunammite for Adonijah? Since he is my elder brother,#1Kg 1:6; 1Ch 3:2,5 you might as well ask the kingship for him,#2Sm 16:20-22 for the priest Abiathar, and for Joab son of Zeruiah.”#2:22 LXX, Vg, Syr read kingship for him, and on his side are Abiathar the priest and Joab son of Zeruiah#1Kg 1:7 23Then King Solomon took an oath by the Lord: “May God punish me and do so severely#Ru 1:17; 1Sm 3:17 if Adonijah has not made this request at the cost of his life. 24And now, as the Lord lives — the one who established me, seated me on the throne of my father David, and made me a dynasty as he promised#2Sm 7:11-13  — I swear Adonijah will be put to death today!” 25Then King Solomon dispatched Benaiah son of Jehoiada,#1Kg 1:8,26,38 who struck down Adonijah, and he died.
Abiathar’s Banishment
26The king said to the priest Abiathar,#1Kg 1:7,19 “Go to your fields in Anathoth.#Jos 21:18; Jr 1:1 Even though you deserve to die, I will not put you to death today, since you carried the ark of the Lord God in the presence of my father David#2Sm 15:24-25,29 and you suffered through all that my father suffered.”#1Sm 22:20-23; 2Sm 19:11 27So Solomon banished Abiathar from being the Lord’s priest, and it fulfilled the Lord’s prophecy he had spoken at Shiloh against Eli’s family.#1Sm 2:31-35
Joab’s Execution
28The news reached Joab. Since he had supported Adonijah#1Kg 1:7 but not Absalom,#2Sm 18:1-5 Joab fled to the Lord’s tabernacle and took hold of the horns of the altar.#Ex 21:12-14; 1Kg 1:50
29It was reported to King Solomon: “Joab has fled to the Lord’s tabernacle and is now beside the altar.” Then Solomon sent#2:29 LXX adds Joab a message: “What is the matter with you, that you have fled to the altar?” And Joab replied, “Because I feared you, I have fled to the Lord.” And Solomon the king sent Benaiah son of Jehoiada#1Kg 1:8 and told him, “Go and strike him down!” #Ex 12:12,14; 2Sm 3:27; 18:14; 20:10
30So Benaiah went to the tabernacle and said to Joab, “This is what the king says: ‘Come out!’” #Ex 21:14
But Joab said, “No, for I will die here.”
So Benaiah took a message back to the king, “This is what Joab said, and this is how he answered me.”
31The king said to him, “Do just as he says. Strike him down and bury him in order to remove from me and from my father’s family the blood that Joab shed without just cause.#Nm 35:33; Dt 21:8-9 32The Lord will bring back his own blood on his head because he struck down two men more righteous and better than he, without my father David’s knowledge. With his sword, Joab murdered Abner#2Sm 3:26-27 son of Ner, commander of Israel’s army, and Amasa#2Sm 20:8-10 son of Jether, commander of Judah’s army. 33The responsibility for their deaths will come back to Joab and to his descendants#2:33 Lit Their blood will return on the head of Joab and on the head of his seed forever, but for David, his descendants, his dynasty, and his throne, there will be peace from the Lord forever.”#2Sm 3:28-29
34Benaiah son of Jehoiada#2Kg 2:25 went up, struck down Joab, and put him to death. He was buried at his house in the wilderness.#2Sm 2:32 35Then the king appointed Benaiah son of Jehoiada in Joab’s place over the army,#1Kg 4:4 and he appointed the priest Zadok in Abiathar’s place.
Shimei’s Banishment and Execution
36Then the king summoned Shimei#2Sm 16:5-13; 1Kg 2:8-9 and said to him, “Build a house for yourself in Jerusalem and live there, but don’t leave there and go anywhere else. 37On the day you do leave and cross the Kidron Valley,#Jn 18:1 know for sure that you will certainly die. Your blood will be on your own head.”#Gn 2:17; 2Sm 1:16
38Shimei said to the king, “The sentence is fair; your servant will do as my lord the king has spoken.” And Shimei lived in Jerusalem for a long time.
39But then, at the end of three years, two of Shimei’s slaves ran away to Achish#1Sm 27:2 son of Maacah, king of Gath.#Jos 13:3; 1Sm 6:16-17; 21:10 Shimei was informed, “Look, your slaves are in Gath.” 40So Shimei saddled his donkey and set out to Achish at Gath to search for his slaves. He went and brought them back from Gath.
41It was reported to Solomon that Shimei had gone from Jerusalem to Gath and had returned. 42So the king summoned Shimei and said to him, “Didn’t I make you swear by the Lord and warn you, saying, ‘On the day you leave and go anywhere else, know for sure that you will certainly die’? And you said to me, ‘The sentence is fair; I will obey.’ 43So why have you not kept the Lord’s oath and the command that I gave you?” 44The king also said, “You yourself know all the evil that you did to my father David.#1Kg 2:8-9 Therefore, the Lord has brought back your evil on your head, 45but King Solomon will be blessed, and David’s throne will remain established before the Lord forever.”#2Sm 7:13
46Then the king commanded Benaiah son of Jehoiada, and he went out and struck Shimei down, and he died. So the kingdom was established in Solomon’s hand.#1Kg 2:12; 2Ch 1:1
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.