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2
David's Instructions to Solomon
1Not long before David died, he told Solomon:
2My son, I will soon die, as everyone must. But I want you to be strong and brave. 3Do what the Lord your God commands and follow his teachings. Obey everything written in the Law of Moses. Then you will be a success, no matter what you do or where you go. 4You and your descendants must always faithfully obey the Lord. If you do, he will keep the solemn promise he made to me that someone from our family will always be king of Israel.
5 # 2 S 3.27; 2 S 20.10. Solomon, don't forget what Joab did to me by killing Abner son of Ner and Amasa son of Jether, the two commanders of Israel's army. He killed them as if they were his enemies in a war, but he did it when there was no war.#2.5 war: See 2 Samuel 3.22-27 and 20.7-10. He is guilty, and now it's up to you to punish him 6in the way you think best. Whatever you do, don't let him die peacefully in his old age.
7 # 2 S 17.27-29. The sons of Barzillai from Gilead helped me when I was running from your brother Absalom.#2.7 Absalom: See 2 Samuel 17.27-29. Be kind to them and let them eat at your table.
8 # 2 S 16.5-13; 19.16-23. Be sure to do something about Shimei son of Gera from Bahurim in the territory of Benjamin. He cursed and insulted me the day I went to Mahanaim. But later, when he came to meet me at the Jordan River, I promised that I wouldn't kill him.#2.8 him: See 2 Samuel 16.5-14 and 19.16-23. 9Now you must punish him. He's an old man, but you're wise enough to know that you must have him killed.
David Dies
10-11 # 2 S 5.4,5; 1 Ch 3.1-4. David was king of Israel 40 years. He ruled 7 years from Hebron and 33 years from Jerusalem. Then he died and was buried in Jerusalem.#2.10,11 Jerusalem: Hebrew “the city of David.” 12#1 Ch 29.23. His son Solomon became king and took control of David's kingdom.
Adonijah Is Killed
13One day, Adonijah went to see Bathsheba, Solomon's mother, and she asked, “Is this a friendly visit?”
“Yes. 14I just want to talk with you.”
“All right,” she told him, “go ahead.”
15“You know that I was king for a little while,” Adonijah replied. “And everyone in Israel accepted me as their ruler. But the Lord wanted my brother to be king, so now things have changed. 16Would you do me a favor?”
“What do you want?” Bathsheba asked.
17 # 1 K 1.3,4. “Please ask Solomon to let me marry Abishag. He won't say no to you.”
18“All right,” she said. “I'll ask him.”
19When Bathsheba went to see Solomon, he stood up to meet her, then bowed low. He sat back down and had another throne brought in, so his mother could sit at his right side.#2.19 at his right side: The place of honor. 20Bathsheba sat down and then asked, “Would you do me a small favor?”
Solomon replied, “Mother, just tell me what you want, and I will do it.”
21“Allow your brother Adonijah to marry Abishag,” she answered.
22Solomon said:
What? Let my older brother marry Abishag? You may as well ask me to let him rule the kingdom! And why don't you ask such favors for Abiathar and Joab?#2.22 And why … Joab: One possible meaning for the difficult Hebrew text.
23I swear in the name of the Lord that Adonijah will die because he asked for this! If he doesn't, I pray that God will severely punish me. 24The Lord made me king in my father's place and promised that the kings of Israel would come from my family. Yes, I swear by the living Lord that Adonijah will die today.
25“Benaiah,” Solomon shouted, “go kill Adonijah.” So Adonijah died.
Abiathar Is Sent Back Home
26 # 2 S 15.24; 1 S 22.20-23. Solomon sent for Abiathar the priest and said:
Abiathar, go back home to Anathoth! You ought to be killed too, but I won't do it now. When my father David was king, you were in charge of the sacred chest, and you went through a lot of hard times with my father. 27#1 S 2.27-36. But I won't let you be a priest of the Lord anymore.
And so the promise that the Lord had made at Shiloh about the family of Eli came true.#2.27 the promise … came true: See 1 Samuel 2.27-34.
Joab Is Killed
28Joab had not helped Absalom try to become king, but he had helped Adonijah. So when Joab learned that Adonijah had been killed, he ran to the sacred tent and grabbed hold of the corners of the altar for protection.#2.28 the corners … for protection: See the note at 1.50. 29When Solomon heard about this, he sent someone to ask Joab, “Why did you run to the altar?”
Joab sent back his answer, “I was afraid of you, and I ran to the Lord for protection.”#2.29 he sent someone … for protection: One ancient translation; these words are not in the Hebrew text.
Then Solomon shouted, “Benaiah, go kill Joab!”
30Benaiah went to the sacred tent and yelled, “Joab, the king orders you to come out!”
“No!” Joab answered. “Kill me right here.”
Benaiah went back and told Solomon what Joab had said.
31-32Solomon replied:
Do what Joab said. Kill him and bury him! Then my family and I won't be responsible for what he did to Abner the commander of Israel's army and to Amasa the commander of Judah's army. He killed those innocent men without my father knowing about it. Both of them were better men than Joab. Now the Lord will make him pay for those murders. 33Joab's family will always suffer because of what he did, but the Lord will always bless David's family and his kingdom with peace.
34Benaiah went back and killed Joab. His body was taken away and buried near his home in the desert.
35Solomon put Benaiah in Joab's place as army commander, and he put Zadok in Abiathar's place as priest.
Shimei Is Killed
36Solomon sent for Shimei and said, “Build a house here in Jerusalem and live in it. But whatever you do, don't leave the city! 37If you ever cross Kidron Valley and leave Jerusalem, you will be killed. And it will be your own fault.”
38“That's fair, Your Majesty,” Shimei answered. “I'll do that.” So Shimei lived in Jerusalem from then on.
39About three years later, two of Shimei's servants ran off to King Achish in Gath. When Shimei found out where they were, 40he saddled his donkey and went after them. He found them and brought them back to Jerusalem.
41Someone told Solomon that Shimei had gone to Gath and was back. 42Solomon sent for him and said:
Shimei, you promised in the name of the Lord that you would never leave Jerusalem. I warned you that you would die if you did. You agreed that this was fair, didn't you? 43You have disobeyed me and have broken the promise you made to the Lord.
44I know you remember all the cruel things you did to my father David. Now the Lord is going to punish you for what you did. 45But the Lord will bless me and make my father's kingdom strong forever.
46“Benaiah,” Solomon shouted, “kill Shimei.” So Shimei died.
Solomon was now in complete control of his kingdom.
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.