|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
2:1-4 David's charge to Solomon is, to keep the charge of the Lord. The authority of a dying father is much, but nothing to that of a living God. God promised David that the Messiah should come from his descendants, and that promise was absolute; but the promise, that there should not fail of them a man on the throne of Israel, was conditional; if he walks before God in sincerity, with zeal and resolution: in order hereunto, he must take heed to his way.
Verse 1. - I go the way [lit., I am walking (same word as in ver. 3) in the way] of all the earth [i.e., of all the sons of earth, all mankind (cf. 1 Samuel 17:46; 1 Kings 10:24; Psalm 66:4, etc.) The path to Sheol, the path which all his forefathers, and untold millions more, have trod, he is treading it now. The words sound like a reminiscence of Joshua 23, 24. Perhaps, too, the thought of Joshua suggested to his mind the next words]: but be thou strong, and be a man. [Similar, though not identical, words were four times addressed to Joshua (Joshua 1:6, 7, 9, 18), and David may well have thought that his son, in entering upon his difficult duties, was not at all unlike Joshua when he succeeded Moses in the leadership of Israel, and that he needed similar encouragement. It is not necessary to suppose, as Canon Rawlinson does ("Speaker's Com.," vol. 2 p. 489), that in the words, "show thyself a man," we have a reference to Solomon's youth; for words precisely similar were addressed to each other by the Philistines at Aphek (1 Samuel 4:9). The age of Solomon at his accession is very doubtful. David said, "Solomon my son is young and tender" (1 Chronicles 22:5; 1 Chronicles 29:1); and Solomon says of himself, "I am a little child" נַעַר קָטֹן (1 Kings 3:7). Josephus, probably reflecting the tradition of his time, fixes his age at fourteen; Eupolemus at twelve. I incline to think that the words "young and tender" almost forbid the favourite opinion that he was about twenty.]
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
Now the days of David drew nigh that he should die,.... The number of his days fixed and determined by the Lord, Job 14:5; and which might be perceived as drawing nigh, both by himself and others, through the growing infirmities of old age, decline of nature, and various symptoms of an approaching dissolution which were upon him; see Genesis 47:29. Abarbinel observes, that he is called only David, not King David; because Solomon his son was now anointed king, and reigned in his stead; so in 1 Kings 1:10; but there is another reason given by some Jews (n), that no man, even a king, has power in the day of death; he is no king then, he has no rule over that, but that rules over him:
and he charged Solomon his son; gave him his last and dying charge:
saying; as follows.
(n) Bereshit Rabba, sect. 96. fol. 83. 3.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
1Ki 2:1-11. David Dies.
1. David … charged Solomon his son—The charge recorded here was given to Solomon just before his death and is different from the farewell address delivered in public some time before (1Ch 28:2-9). It is introduced with great solemnity.
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