1 Kings 2
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David Instructs Solomon
(Psalm 37:1-40)

1As the time drew near for David to die, he charged his son Solomon, 2“I am about to go the way of all the earth. So be strong and prove yourself a man. 3And keep the charge of the LORD your God to walk in His ways and to keep His statutes, commandments, ordinances, and decrees, as is written in the Law of Moses, so that you may prosper in all you do and wherever you turn, 4and so that the LORD may fulfill His promise to me: ‘If your descendants take heed to walk faithfully before Me with all their heart and soul, you will never fail to have a man on the throne of Israel.’

5Moreover, you know what Joab son of Zeruiah did to me—what he did to Abner son of Ner and Amasa son of Jether, the two commanders of the armies of Israel. He killed them in peacetime to avenge the blood of war. He stained with the blood of war the belt around his waist and the sandals on his feet.a 6So act according to your wisdom, and do not let his gray head go down to Sheol in peace.

7But show loving devotionb to the sons of Barzillai the Gileadite, and let them be among those who eat at your table, because they stood by me when I fled from your brother Absalom.

8Keep an eye on Shimei the son of Gera, the Benjamite from Bahurim who is with you. He called down bitter curses against me on the day I went to Mahanaim, but when he came down to meet me at the Jordan, I swore to him by the LORD: ‘I will never kill you with the sword.’ 9Now therefore, do not hold him guiltless, for you are a wise man. You know what you ought to do to him to bring his gray head down to Sheol in blood.”

David’s Reign and Death
(1 Chronicles 29:26-30)

10Then David rested with his fathers and was buried in the City of David. 11The length of David’s reign over Israel was forty years—seven years in Hebron and thirty-three years in Jerusalem.

12So Solomon sat on the throne of his father David, and his kingdom was firmly established.

The Execution of Adonijah

13Now Adonijah son of Haggith went to Bathsheba the mother of Solomon, who asked, “Do you come in peace?”

“Yes, in peace,” he replied. 14Then he said, “I have something to tell you.”

“Say it,” she answered.

15“You know that the kingship was mine,” he said. “All Israel expected that I should reign, but the kingship has turned to my brother, for it has come to him from the LORD. 16So now I have just one request of you; do not deny me.”

“State your request,” she told him.

17Adonijah replied, “Please speak to King Solomon, since he will not turn you down. Let him give me Abishag the Shunammite as my wife.”

18“Very well,” Bathsheba replied. “I will speak to the king for you.”

19So Bathsheba went to King Solomon to speak to him for Adonijah. The king stood up to greet her, bowed to her, and sat down on his throne. Then the king had a throne brought for his mother, who sat down at his right hand.

20“I have just one small request of you,” she said. “Do not deny me.”

“Make your request, my mother,” the king replied, “for I will not deny you.”

21So Bathsheba said, “Let Abishag the Shunammite be given to your brother Adonijah as his wife.”

22King Solomon answered his mother, “Why do you request Abishag the Shunammite for Adonijah? Since he is my older brother, you might as well request the kingdom for him and for Abiathar the priest and for Joab son of Zeruiah.”

23Then King Solomon swore by the LORD: “May God punish me, and ever so severely, if Adonijah has not made this request at the expense of his life. 24And now, as surely as the LORD lives—the One who established me, who set me on the throne of my father David, and who founded for me a dynasty as He promised—surely Adonijah shall be put to death today!”

25So King Solomon sent the order to Benaiah son of Jehoiada, who struck down Adonijah, and he died.

26Then the king said to Abiathar the priest, “Go back to your fields in Anathoth. Even though you deserve to die, I will not put you to death at this time, since you carried the ark of the Lord GOD before my father David, and you suffered through all that my father suffered.” 27So Solomon banished Abiathar from the priesthood of the LORD and thus fulfilled the word the LORD had spoken at Shiloh against the house of Eli.

The Execution of Joab

28When the news reached Joab, who had conspired with Adonijah but not with Absalom, he fled to the tent of the LORD and took hold of the horns of the altar.

29It was reported to King Solomon: “Joab has fled to the tent of the LORD and is now beside the altar.”

So Solomon sent Benaiah son of Jehoiada, saying, “Go, strike him down!”

30And Benaiah entered the tent of the LORD and said to Joab, “The king says, ‘Come out!’”

But Joab replied, “No, I will die here.”

So Benaiah relayed the message to the king, saying, “This is how Joab answered me.”

31And the king replied, “Do just as he says. Strike him down and bury him, and so remove from me and from the house of my father the innocent blood that Joab shed. 32The LORD will bring his bloodshed back upon his own head, for without the knowledge of my father David he struck down two men more righteous and better than he when he killed with the sword Abner son of Ner, commander of Israel’s army, and Amasa son of Jether, commander of Judah’s army. 33Their blood will come back upon the heads of Joab and his descendants forever; but for David, his descendants, his house, and his throne, there shall be peace from the LORD forever.”

34So Benaiah son of Jehoiada went up, struck down Joab, and killed him. He was buried at his own home in the wilderness. 35And the king appointed Benaiah son of Jehoiada in Joab’s place over the army, and he appointed Zadok the priest in Abiathar’s place.

The Execution of Shimei

36Then the king summoned Shimei and said to him, “Build a house for yourself in Jerusalem and live there, but do not go anywhere else. 37On the day you go out and cross the Kidron Valley, know for sure that you will die; your blood will be on your own head.”

38“The sentence is fair,” Shimei replied. “Your servant will do as my lord the king has spoken.” And Shimei lived in Jerusalem for a long time.

39After three years, however, two of Shimei’s slaves ran away to Achish son of Maacah, king of Gath. And Shimei was told, “Look, your slaves are in Gath.”

40So Shimei saddled his donkey and set out to Achish at Gath in search of his slaves, and he brought them back from Gath.

41When it was reported to Solomon that Shimei had gone from Jerusalem to Gath and had returned, 42the king summoned Shimei and said to him, “Did I not make you swear by the LORD and warn you, ‘On the day you leave and go elsewhere, know for sure that you will die’? And you told me, ‘The sentence is fair; I will comply.’ 43So why have you not kept your oath to the LORD and the command that I gave you?”

44The king also said, “You know in your heart all the evil that you did to my father David. Therefore the LORD will bring your evil back upon your head. 45But King Solomon will be blessed and David’s throne will remain secure before the LORD forever.”

46Then the king commanded Benaiah son of Jehoiada, and he went out and struck Shimei down, and he died. Thus the kingdom was firmly established in the hand of Solomon.

Footnotes:

5 a Hebrew; LXX He stained with innocent blood the belt around my waist and the sandals on my feet
7 b Forms of the Hebrew chesed are translated here and in most cases throughout the Scriptures as loving devotion; the range of meaning includes love, goodness, kindness, faithfulness, and mercy, as well as loyalty to a covenant.

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