Now the days of David drew near that he should die; and he charged Solomon his son, saying,
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)1 Kings 2:1-2. The days of David drew nigh, that he must die — As he himself was sensible. And he charged Solomon his son — After the example of Abraham, the father of the faithful, Genesis 18:19. I go the way of all the earth — Even the sons and heirs of heaven must go the way of all the earth, of all who dwell thereon. But they walk with pleasure in this way, through the valley of the shadow of death. Prophets, yea, kings, must go this way to brighter light and honour than prophecy or sovereignty. Be thou strong — For, to govern his people according to the law of God, required great fortitude or strength of mind. And show thyself a man — In manly wisdom, and courage, and constancy, though thou art but young in years.1 Chronicles 28-29 had occurred in the interval which separates the last and this present chapter.
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.David lying on his death-bed, giveth charge to Solomon of a religious life, 1 Kings 2:1-4. Of Joab, Barzillai, and Shimei, 1 Kings 2:5-9. He dieth: Solomon succeedeth, 1 Kings 2:10-12. Adonijah suing for Abishag, is put to death, 1 Kings 2:13-25. Abiathar is deprived of the priesthood, 1 Kings 2:26,27. Joab fleeing to the horns of the altar is slain there, 1 Kings 2:28-34. Benaiah is put in Joab’s room, and Zadok in Abiathar’s, 1 Kings 2:35. Shimei confined to Jerusalem; going thence to Gath is put to death, 1 Kings 2:36-46.
and he charged Solomon his son; gave him his last and dying charge:
saying; as follows.Now the days of David drew nigh that he should die; and he charged Solomon his son, saying,
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)1 Kings 2:1-11. David’s last charge to Solomon, and his death (Not in Chronicles)
1. Now the days of David drew nigh that he should die] According to the narrative of Josephus (Antiq. vii. 14, 7) all the events recorded in 1 Chronicles 28, 29 took place in the interval between the first anointing of Solomon and the death of David. There is nothing in those chapters beyond what an aged man might do, especially if he had a brief period of better health, and 1 Chronicles 29:22 makes special mention of Solomon’s second anointing which, like the first, preceded the death of his father.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.] Ruth 1:19), and that he had even ascended the throne, that the servants of the king had blessed David for it, and that David himself had worshipped and praised Jehovah the God of Israel that he had lived to see his son ascend the throne. The repetition of וגם three times (1 Kings 1:46-48) gives emphasis to the words, since every new point which is introduced with וגם raises the thing higher and higher towards absolute certainty. The fact related in 1 Kings 1:47 refers to the words of Benaiah in 1 Kings 1:36 and 1 Kings 1:37. The Chethib אלהיך is the correct reading, and the Keri אלהים an unnecessary emendation. The prayer to God, with thanksgiving for the favour granted to him, was offered by David after the return of his anointed son Solomon to the royal palace; so that it ought strictly to have been mentioned after 1 Kings 1:40. The worship of grey-headed David upon the bed recalls to mind the worship of the patriarch Jacob after making known his last will (Genesis 47:31).
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