1 Kings 2:31
And the king said to him, Do as he has said, and fall on him, and bury him; that you may take away the innocent blood, which Joab shed, from me, and from the house of my father.
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1 Kings 2:31. Do as he hath said — Kill him, though he be there; take him from that place, and then kill him: for Exodus 21:14, doth not command the ruler to kill the murderer there, but to remove him thence; to take him from the altar, that he may die. That thou mayest take away the innocent blood from me — Kings or judges owe that justice to God, whose vicegerents they are, as to inflict those punishments on offenders which the divine laws require them to inflict: or otherwise, the punishment due to the offenders may with justice fall upon their own heads, as, by not executing the punishment, they, in some measure, give their approbation to the crime.2:26-34 Solomon's words to Abiathar, and his silence, imply that some recent conspiracies had been entered into. Those that show kindness to God's people shall have it remembered to their advantage. For this reason Solomon spares Abiathar's life, but dismisses him from his offices. In case of such sins as the blood of beasts would atone for, the altar was a refuge, but not in Joab's case. Solomon looks upward to God as the Author of peace, and forward to eternity as the perfection of it. The Lord of peace himself gives us that peace which is everlasting.It was only a murderer to whom the tabernacle was to be no protection (margin reference). Hence, the reference to the "innocent blood." 1Ki 2:28-45. Joab Slain.

28. Then tidings came to Joab—The execution of these sentences respectively on Adonijah and Abiathar prepared Joab for his fate. Death, due to his great crimes (Nu 35:33), would long ago have been inflicted, had not his power and popularity with the army been too formidable for the old king. He now fled to the altar, which, though a recognized asylum, afforded no sanctuary to the rebel and murderer (Ex 21:14). And, as he refused to leave it, he seems to have cherished some faint hope that a religious scruple would have been felt at the thought of violating the sanctity of the place by bloodshed. Benaiah, not liking to assume any responsibility, referred the matter to Solomon, who determined that the law should take its course (De 19:13).

Do as he hath said; either,

1. Kill him in that place; and for so doing Solomon might seem to have warrant from God, Exodus 21:14, and might further design by this just severity to deter future offenders, by showing that no place nor person should protect them from the stroke of justice. Or rather,

2. Let him die as he is resolved; kill him, though he be there; take him by violence from that place, and then kill him; for Exodus 21:14 doth not command the ruler to kill the murderer there, but to remove him thence, to

take him from the altar, that he may die. And seeing this might be done, why should Solomon unnecessarily stain the altar with his blood?

The innocent blood, i. e. both the guilt of it, which would rest upon my father and my family if it went unpunished; and the scandal and reproach of it, that neither this nor following ages may imagine that it was done by David’s secret instigation, or with his consent. And the king said unto him, do as he hath said, and fall upon him, and bury him,.... Let him die where he is, slay him upon the spot, and then bury him; not by the altar, but in his own sepulchre, as later related, that in, give orders to bury him there; for Benaiah being a priest, could not be concerned in the burial of him, and besides it was below the dignity of his office:

(, 1 Chronicles 27:2 where Gill advances resaons for Benaiah not being a priest. Editor.)

that thou mayest take away the innocent blood, which Joab shed, from me, and from the house of my father; which had been too long connived at, and had called for vengeance; and now here was a proper opportunity upon fresh sins committed to avenge it, and so remove the guilt, which lay upon him and his father's house, for not inflicting deserved punishment on him for it.

And the king said unto him, Do as he hath said, and {p} fall upon him, and bury him; that thou mayest take away the innocent blood, which Joab shed, from me, and from the house of my father.

(p) For it was lawful to take the wilful murderer from the altar, Ex 21:14.

31. and bury him] The LXX. adds these words to the king’s previous order in 1 Kings 2:29. Joab was Solomon’s cousin, and so though it was a political necessity to put him to death, the king would not care to add further dishonour to the dead body.

the innocent blood] i.e. The causeless bloodshed of innocent people of which Joab had been guilty, and which, until it was avenged, would lie at the door of David and his descendants.Verse 31. - And the king said unto him do as he hath said, and fall upon him [the law decreed (Exodus 21:14) that, if a man had slain his neighbour with guile, he should be taken from the altar to die. Possibly the desperate character of Joab made literal compliance with this command well nigh impossible. The attempt to drag him from his place of refuge might have led to a bloody encounter. And the king evidently felt that Joab's crimes justified exceptional measures], and bury him [why this injunction? Possibly because the spirit of Deuteronomy 21:23 seemed to Solomon to require it. Both Bahr and Keil think it was that Joab's services to the kingdom might be requited with an honourable sepulture. Was it not rather that the corpse might be removed with all possible haste from the sanctuary, which it defiled, and hidden from view, as one accursed of God, in the earth? So Bishop Hall: "He sends Benaiah to take away the offender both from God and men, from the altar and the world"]; that thou mayest take away [LXX. "today," σήμερον] the innocent blood [for the construction cf. 1 Samuel 25:31; Nehemiah 2:12; and Ewald, 287d. Innocent blood, i.e., blood not shed in war, or forfeited to justice, rested upon the community, or the authorities responsible for its punishment (Numbers 35:33; Deuteronomy 19:10, 13; Deuteronomy 21:9. Cf. Genesis 4:10) until satisfaction was made. See on ver. 5], which Joab shed, from me, and from the house of my father. [Heb. "from upon me." Solomon evidently believed that the guilt of blood was upon him and his house so long as Abner's and Amasa's blood remained unavenged ("The blood that is not required from the murderer will be required from the magistrate." Henry), and that he and his seed might have to answer for it, as Saul's seed had done (2 Samuel 21:1, 9). This is one of the many considerations which show that both David and Solomon were actuated not by "cold-blooded vengeance" or "long-cherished resentment" (Stanley), but by a sense of duty. In fact, Jewish law imperatively demanded the death of Joab, and to spare him was to violate all law, and to imperil the throne and the people. "Only a superficial observer," says Ewald, "can here reproach Solomon with needless severity."] Solomon had this sentence immediately executed upon Adonijah by Benaiah, the chief of the body-guard, according to the oriental custom of both ancient and modern times. The king was perfectly just in doing this. For since Adonijah, even after his first attempt to seize upon the throne had been forgiven by Solomon, endeavoured to secure his end by fresh machinations, duty to God, who had exalted Solomon to the throne, demanded that the rebel should be punished with all the severity of the law, without regard to blood-relationship.
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