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1 Now the days of David had drawn near, so that he would die, and he instructed his son Solomon, saying:
2 "I am entering the way of all the earth. Be strengthened and be a good man.
3 And observe the care of the Lord your God, so that you walk in his ways, so that you care for his ceremonies, and his precepts, and judgments, and testimonies, just as it is written in the law of Moses. So may you understand everything that you do, in any direction that you may turn yourself.
4 So may the Lord confirm his words, which he has spoken about me, saying: 'If your sons will guard their ways, and if they will walk before me in truth, with all their heart and with all their soul, there shall not be taken away from you a man on the throne of Israel.'
5 Also, you know what Joab, the son of Zeruiah, has done to me, what he did to the two leaders of the army of Israel, to Abner, the son of Ner, and to Amasa, the son of Jether. He killed them, and so he shed the blood of war in peace time, and he set the bloodshed of battle on his belt, which was around his waist, and in his shoes, which were on his feet.
6 Therefore, act according to your wisdom. And you shall not allow his gray head to be led away to death in peace.
7 Then, too, repay grace to the sons of Barzillai the Gileadite. And you shall allow them to eat at your table. For they met me when I fled from the face of Absalom, your brother.
8 Also, you have with you Shimei, the son of Gera, the son of Benjamin, from Bahurim, who cursed me with a grievous curse, when I went away to the camp. And he descended to meet me when I crossed over the Jordan, and I swore to him by the Lord, saying, 'I will not put you to death by the sword,'
9 yet do not choose to treat him as if he were innocent. Since you are a wise man, you will know what to do with him. And you shall lead away his grey hair to death with blood."
10 And so, David slept with his fathers, and he was buried in the city of David.
11 Now the days during which David reigned over Israel are forty years: he reigned seven years in Hebron, thirty-three in Jerusalem.
12 Then Solomon sat upon the throne of his father David, and his kingdom was strengthened exceedingly.
13 And Adonijah, the son of Haggith, entered to Bathsheba, the mother of Solomon. And she said to him, "Is your entrance peaceful?" He responded, "It is peaceful."
14 And he added, "My word is for you." She said to him, "Speak." And he said:
15 "You know that the kingdom was mine, and that all of Israel had preferred me for themselves as king. But the kingdom was transferred, and has become my brother's. For it was appointed to him by the Lord.
16 Now therefore, I beg of you one petition. May you not confound my face." And she said to him, "Speak."
17 And he said: "I beg that you may speak to king Solomon, for he is not able to refuse anything to you, so that he may give Abishag the Shunammite to me as wife."
18 And Bathsheba said: "It is well. I will speak to the king on your behalf."
19 Then Bathsheba went to king Solomon, so that she might speak to him on behalf of Adonijah. And the king rose up to meet her, and he reverenced her, and he sat down upon his throne. And a throne was stationed for the mother of the king, and she sat at his right hand.
20 And she said to him: "I petition one small request from you. May you not confound my face." And the king said to her: "Ask, my mother. For it is not right that I turn away your face."
21 And she said, "Let Abishag the Shunammite be given to Adonijah, your brother, as wife."
22 And king Solomon responded, and he said to his mother: "Why do you request Abishag the Shunammite for Adonijah? Why not request the kingdom for him! For he is my older brother, and he has Abiathar, the priest, and Joab, the son of Zeruiah."
23 And so king Solomon swore by the Lord, saying: "May God do these things to me, and may he add these other things! For Adonijah has spoken this word against his own life.
24 And now, as the Lord lives, who has confirmed me and placed me upon the throne of my father David, and who, just as he said, has made a house for me: Adonijah shall be put to death this day."
25 And king Solomon sent by the hand of Benaiah, the son of Jehoiada, who put him to death, and so he died.
26 Also, the king said to Abiathar, the priest: "Go into Anathoth, to your own land, for you are a man worthy of death. But I will not put you to death this day, since you carried the ark of the Lord God before David, my father, and since you have endured hardship in all the things, for which my father labored."
27 Therefore, Solomon cast out Abiathar, so that he would not be the priest of the Lord, so that the word of the Lord might be fulfilled, which he spoke over the house of Eli at Shiloh.
28 And the news came to Joab, for Joab had turned aside after Adonijah, and he had not turned aside after Solomon. And so, Joab fled into the tabernacle of the Lord, and he took hold of the horn of the altar.
29 And it was reported to king Solomon that Joab had fled into the tabernacle of the Lord, and that he was beside the altar. And Solomon sent Benaiah, the son of Jehoiada, saying, "Go, put him to death."
30 And Benaiah went to the tabernacle of the Lord, and he said to him: "The king says this: 'Come out.' " But he said: "I will not come out. Instead, I will die here." Benaiah sent word back to the king, saying, "Joab said this, and he responded to me in this way."
31 And the king said to him, "Do just as he has said. And put him to death, and bury him. And so shall you take away the innocent blood, which was shed by Joab, from me and from my father's house.
32 And the Lord shall repay his blood upon his own head. For he killed two men, just and better than himself, and he killed them with the sword, while my father, David, did not know it: Abner, the son of Ner, leader of the military of Israel, and Amasa, the son of Jether, leader of the army of Judah.
33 And their blood shall be turned back upon the head of Joab, and upon the head of his offspring forever. But as for David, and his offspring and house, and his throne, may there be peace from the Lord, even unto eternity."
34 And so Benaiah, the son of Jehoiada, went up and, attacking him, put him to death. And he was buried in his own house in the desert.
35 And the king appointed Benaiah, the son of Jehoiada, in his place over the army. And he appointed Zadok, the priest, in place of Abiathar.
36 Also, the king sent for and summoned Shimei, and he said to him: "Build a house for yourself in Jerusalem, and live there. And do not depart from that place to here or to there.
37 For on whatever day you will have departed and crossed the torrent Kidron, know that you shall be put to death. Your blood will be upon your own head."
38 And Shimei said to the king: "The word is good. Just as my lord the king has said, so will your servant do." And so Shimei lived in Jerusalem for many days.
39 But it happened that, after three years, the servants of Shimei fled to Achish, the son of Maacah, the king of Gath. And it was reported to Shimei that his servants had gone away to Gath.
40 And Shimei rose up, and he saddled his donkey. And went away to Achish in Gath, in order to seek his servants. And he led them away from Gath.
41 And it was reported to Solomon that Shimei had gone away from Jerusalem to Gath, and had returned.
42 And sending, he summoned him, and he said to him: "Did I not testify to you by the Lord, and warn you in advance, 'On whatever day, having departed, you go forth to here or to there, know that you shall die?' And you responded to me, 'The word that I have heard is good.'
43 Then why have you not kept the oath to the Lord, and the commandment which I instructed to you?"
44 And the king said to Shimei: "You know all the evil, of which your heart is conscious, which you did to David, my father. The Lord has repaid your wickedness upon your own head."
45 And king Solomon shall be blessed, and the throne of David shall be established before the Lord, even forever.
46 And so the king commanded Benaiah, the son of Jehoiada. And going out, he struck him down, and he died.
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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.