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2
CHAPTER 2.
1And the days of David drew nigh that he should die, and he charged his son Solomon, saying:
2I am going the way of all flesh: take thou courage, and shew thyself a man.
3And keep the charge of the Lord thy God, to walk in his ways, and observe his ceremonies, and his precepts, and judgments, and testimonies, as it is written in the law of Moses: that thou mayest understand all thou dost, and whithersoever thou shalt turn thyself:
4That the Lord may confirm his words, which he hath spoken of me, saying: If thy children shall take heed to their ways, and shall walk before me in truth, with all their heart, and with all their soul, there shall not be taken away from thee a man on the throne of Israel.
5Thou knowest also what Joab the son of Sarvia hath done to me, what he did to the two captains of the army of Israel, to Abner the son of Ner, and to Amasa the son of Jether: whom he slew, and shed the blood of war in peace, and put the blood of war on his girdle that was about his loins, and in his shoes that were on his feet.
6Do therefore according to thy wisdom, and let not his hoary head go down to hell in peace.
7But shew kindness to the sons of Berzellai the Galaadite, and let them eat at thy table: t for they met me when I fled from the face of Absalom thy brother.
8Thou hast also with thee Semei the son of Gera the son of Jemini of Bahurim, who cursed me with a grievous curse, when I went to the camp: but because he came down to meet me when I passed over the Jordan, and I swore to him by the Lord, saying: I will not kill thee with a sword:
9Do not thou hold him guiltless. But thou art a wise man, and knowest what to do with him, and thou shalt bring down his grey hairs with blood to hell.
10So David slept with his fathers, and was buried in the city of David.
11And the days that David reigned in Israel, were forty gears: in Hebron he reigned seven years, in Jerusalem thirty-three.
12And Solomon sat upon the throne of his father David, and his kingdom was strengthened exceedingly.
13And Adonias the son of Haggith came to Bethsabee the mother of Solomon. And she said to him: Is thy coming peaceable? he answered: Peaceable.
14And he added: I have a word to speak with thee. She said to him: Speak. And he said:
15Thou knowest that the kingdom was nine, and all Israel had preferred me to be their king: but the kingdom is transferred, and is become my brother's: for it was appointed him by the Lord.
16Now therefore I ask one petition of thee: turn not away my face. And she said to him: Say on.
17And he said: I pray thee speak to king Solomon (for he cannot deny thee any thing) to give me Abisag the Sunamitess to wife.
18And Bethsabee said: Well, I will speak for thee to the king.
19Then Bethsabee came to king Solomon, to speak to him for Adonias: and the king arose to meet her, and bowed to her, and sat down upon his throne: and a throne was set for the king's mother, and she sat on his right hand.
20And she said to him: I desire one small petition of thee, do not put me to confusion. And the king said to her: My mother, ask: for I must not turn away thy face.
21And she said: Let Abisag the Sunamitess be given to Adonias thy brother to wife.
22And king Solomon answered, and said to his mother: Why dost thou ask Abisag the Sunamitess for Adonias? ask for him also the kingdom: for he is my elder brother, and hath Abiathar the priest, and Joab the son of Sarvia.
23Then king Solomon swore by the Lord, saying: So and so may God do to me, and add more, if Adonias hath not spoken this word against his own life.
24And now as the Lord liveth, who hath established me, and placed me upon the throne of David my father, and who hath made me a house, as he promised, Adonias shall be put to death this day.
25And king Solomon sent by the hand of Banaias the son of Joiada, who slew him, and he died.
26And the king said also to Abiathar the priest: Go to Anathoth to thy lands, for indeed thou art worthy of death: but I will not at this time put thee to death, because thou didst carry the ark of the Lord God before David my father, and hast endured trouble in all the troubles my father endured.
27So Solomon cast out Abiathar, from being the priest of the Lord, that the word of the Lord might be fulfilled, which he spoke concerning the house of Deli in Silo.
28And the news came to Joab, because Joab had turned after Adonias, and had not turned after Solomon: and Joab fled into the tabernacle of the Lord and laid hold on the horn of the altar.
29And it was told king Solomon, that Joab was fled into the tabernacle of the Lord, and was by the altar: and Solomon sent Banaias the son of Joiada, saying: Go, kill him.
30And Banaias came to the tabernacle of the Lord, and said to him: Thus saith the king: Come forth. And he said: I will not come forth, but here I will die. Banaias brought word back to the king, saying: Thus saith Joab, and thus he answered me.
31And the king said to him: Do as he hath said: and kill him, and bury him, and thou shalt remove the innocent blood which hath been shed by Joab, from me, and from the house of my father.
32And the Lord shall return his blood upon his own head, because he murdered two men, just and better than himself: and slew them with the sword, my father David not knowing it, Abner the son of Ner, general of the army of Israel, and Amasa the son of Jether, general of the army of Juda.
33And their blood shall return the head of Joab, and upon the head of his seed for ever. But to David and his seed and his house, and to his throne be peace for ever from the Lord.
34So Banaias the son of Joiada went up, and setting upon him slew him, and he was buried in his house in the desert.
35And the king appointed Banaias the son of Joiada in his room over the army, and Sadoc the priest he put in the place of Abiathar.
36The king also sent, and called for Semei, and said to him: Build thee a house in Jerusalem, and dwell there: and go not out from thence any whither.
37For on what day soever thou shalt go out, and shalt pass over the brook Cedron, know that thou shalt be put to death: thy blood shall be upon thy own head:
38And Semei said to the king: The saying is good: as my lord the king hath said, so will thy servant do. And Semei dwelt in Jerusalem, many days.
39And it came to pass after three years, that the servants of Semei ran away to Achis the son of Maacha the king of Geth: and it was told Semei that his servants were gone to Geth.
40And Semei arose, and saddled his ass, and went to Achis to Geth to seek his servants, and he brought them out of Geth.
41And it was told Solomon that Semei had gone from Jerusalem to Geth, and was come back.
42And sending he called for him, and said to him: Did I not protest to thee by the Lord, and tell thee before: On what day soever thou shalt go out and walk abroad any whither, know that thou shalt die? And thou answeredst me: The word that I have heard is good.
43Why then hast thou not kept the oath of the Lord, and the commandment that I laid upon thee?
44And the king said to Semei: Thou knowest all the evil, of which thy heart is conscious, which thou didst to David my father: the Lord hath returned thy wickedness upon thy own head:
45And king Solomon shall be blessed, and the throne of David shall be established before the Lord for ever.
46So the king commanded Banaias the son of Joiada: and he went out and struck him, 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.