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David's Last Instructions to Solomon
1When David was about to die, he called his son Solomon and gave him his last instructions: 2“My time to die has come. Be confident and determined, 3and do what the LORD your God orders you to do. Obey all his laws and commands, as written in the Law of Moses, so that wherever you go you may prosper in everything you do. 4If you obey him, the LORD will keep the promise he made when he told me that my descendants would rule Israel as long as they were careful to obey his commands faithfully with all their heart and soul.
5 # 2 Sam 3.27; 20.10 “There is something else. You remember what Joab did to me by killing the two commanders of Israel's armies, Abner son of Ner and Amasa son of Jether. You remember how he murdered them in time of peace in revenge for deaths they had caused in time of war. He killed innocent men#2.5 Some ancient translations innocent men; Hebrew men in battle. and now I bear the responsibility for what he did, and I suffer#2.5 Some ancient translations I bear… and I suffer; Hebrew he bears… and he suffers. the consequences. 6You know what to do; you must not let him die a natural death.
7 # 2 Sam 17.27–29 “But show kindness to the sons of Barzillai from Gilead and take care of them, because they were kind to me when I was fleeing from your brother Absalom.
8 # 2 Sam 16.5–13; 19.16–23 “There is also Shimei son of Gera, from the town of Bahurim in Benjamin. He cursed me bitterly the day I went to Mahanaim, but when he met me at the River Jordan, I gave him my solemn promise in the name of the LORD that I would not have him killed. 9But you must not let him go unpunished. You know what to do, and you must see to it that he is put to death.”
The Death of David
10David died and was buried in David's City. 11#2 Sam 5.4–5; 1 Chr 3.4He had been king of Israel for forty years, ruling seven years in Hebron and 33 years in Jerusalem. 12#1 Chr 29.23Solomon succeeded his father David as king, and his royal power was firmly established.
The Death of Adonijah
13Then Adonijah, whose mother was Haggith, went to Bathsheba, who was Solomon's mother. “Is this a friendly visit?” she asked.
“It is,” he answered, 14and then he added, “I have something to ask of you.”
“What is it?” she asked.
15He answered, “You know that I should have become king and that everyone in Israel expected it. But it happened differently, and my brother became king, because it was the LORD's will. 16And now I have one request to make; please do not refuse me.”
“What is it?” Bathsheba asked.
17 # 1 Kgs 1.3–4 He answered, “Please ask King Solomon — I know he won't refuse you — to let me have Abishag, the woman from Shunem, as my wife.”
18“Very well,” she answered. “I will speak to the king for you.”
19So Bathsheba went to the king to speak to him on behalf of Adonijah. The king stood up to greet his mother and bowed to her. Then he sat on his throne and had another one brought in on which she sat at his right. 20She said, “I have a small favour to ask of you; please do not refuse me.”
“What is it, mother?” he asked. “I will not refuse you.”
21She answered, “Let your brother Adonijah have Abishag as his wife.”
22“Why do you ask me to give Abishag to him?” the king asked. “You might as well ask me to give him the throne too. After all, he is my elder brother, and Abiathar the priest and Joab are on his side!”#2.22 Some ancient translations and Abiathar the priest… on his side; Hebrew unclear. 23Then Solomon made a solemn promise in the LORD's name, “May God strike me dead if I don't make Adonijah pay with his life for asking this! 24The LORD has firmly established me on the throne of my father David; he has kept his promise and given the kingdom to me and my descendants. I swear by the living LORD that Adonijah will die this very day!”
25So King Solomon gave orders to Benaiah, who went out and killed Adonijah.
Abiathar's Banishment and Joab's Death
26 # 1 Sam 22.20–23; 2 Sam 15.24 Then King Solomon said to Abiathar the priest, “Go to your country home in Anathoth. You deserve to die, but I will not have you put to death now, for you were in charge of the LORD's Covenant Box while you were with my father David, and you shared in all his troubles.” 27#1 Sam 2.27–36Then Solomon dismissed Abiathar from serving as a priest of the LORD, and so he made what the LORD had said in Shiloh about the priest Eli and his descendants come true.
28Joab heard what had happened. (He had supported Adonijah, but not Absalom.) So he fled to the Tent of the LORD's presence and took hold of the corners of the altar.#2.28 corners of the altar: See 1.50. 29When the news reached King Solomon that Joab had fled to the Tent and was by the altar, Solomon sent a messenger to Joab to ask him why he had fled to the altar. Joab answered that he had fled to the LORD because he was afraid of Solomon. So King Solomon sent Benaiah#2.29 One ancient translation Solomon sent a messenger… sent Benaiah; Hebrew Solomon sent Benaiah. to kill Joab. 30He went to the Tent of the LORD's presence and said to Joab, “The king orders you to come out.”
“No,” Joab answered. “I will die here.”
Benaiah went back to the king and told him what Joab had said.
31“Do what Joab says,” Solomon answered. “Kill him and bury him. Then neither I nor any other of David's descendants will any longer be held responsible for what Joab did when he killed innocent men. 32The LORD will punish Joab for those murders, which he committed#2.32 will punish… committed; or will kill Joab, because he committed those murders. without my father David's knowledge. Joab killed two innocent men who were better men than he: Abner, commander of the army of Israel, and Amasa, commander of the army of Judah. 33The punishment for their murders will fall on Joab and on his descendants for ever. But the LORD will always give success to David's descendants who sit on his throne.”
34So Benaiah went to the Tent of the LORD's presence and killed Joab, and he was buried at his home in the open country. 35The king made Benaiah commander of the army in Joab's place and put Zadok the priest in Abiathar's place.
The Death of Shimei
36Then the king sent for Shimei and said to him, “Build a house for yourself here in Jerusalem. Live in it and don't leave the city. 37If you ever leave and go beyond the brook of Kidron, you will certainly die — and you yourself will be to blame.”
38“Very well, Your Majesty,” Shimei answered. “I will do what you say.” So he lived in Jerusalem a long time.
39Three years later, however, two of Shimei's slaves ran away to the king of Gath, Achish son of Maacah. When Shimei heard that they were in Gath, 40he saddled his donkey and went to King Achish in Gath, to find his slaves. He found them and brought them back home. 41When Solomon heard what Shimei had done, 42he sent for him and said, “I made you promise in the LORD's name not to leave Jerusalem. And I warned you that if you ever did, you would certainly die. Did you not agree to it and say that you would obey me? 43Why, then, have you broken your promise and disobeyed my command? 44You know very well all the wrong that you did to my father David. The LORD will punish you for it. 45But he will bless me and he will make David's kingdom secure for ever.”
46Then the king gave orders to Benaiah, who went out and killed Shimei. Solomon was now in complete control.
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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.