1 Kings 2
Matthew Poole's Commentary
Now the days of David drew nigh that he should die; and he charged Solomon his son, saying,
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.

No text from Poole on this verse.

I go the way of all the earth: be thou strong therefore, and shew thyself a man;
Of all the earth, i.e. of all men upon the earth. Compare Joshua 23:14 Hebrews 9:27.

Be thou strong; for to govern his people according to the law of God, as it here follows, requires great fortitude or strength of mind; to arm himself against the subtle devices and evasions of some; against the flatteries and importunities of others; against terrors and dangers from revengeful men, and especially against himself and his own weakness, partiality, through fear or favour; and against all those evil thoughts and passions to which the temptations of their great wealth, and glory, and uncontrollable power naturally expose them. See Proverbs 16:32.

Show thyself a man, in manly wisdom, and courage, and constancy, though thou art but young in years, 1 Chronicles 22:5.

And keep the charge of the LORD thy God, to walk in his ways, to keep his statutes, and his commandments, and his judgments, and his testimonies, as it is written in the law of Moses, that thou mayest prosper in all that thou doest, and whithersoever thou turnest thyself:
The charge of the Lord thy God, i.e. what God hath charged or commanded thee to do; the act being put for the object; as is usual.

In the law of Moses; which the prince was enjoined to transcribe and read, Deu 17:18, that he might govern his own and his people’s actions by it.

That thou mayest prosper; or, behave thyself prudently; for the word signifies both. Hereby he intimates that religion is the truest reason of state, and that all true wisdom and good success depends upon piety.

That the LORD may continue his word which he spake concerning me, saying, If thy children take heed to their way, to walk before me in truth with all their heart and with all their soul, there shall not fail thee (said he) a man on the throne of Israel.
Confirm his word, i.e. fulfil his promise, the condition upon which it was suspended being performed.

Take heed to their ways, i.e. diligently observe all their actions, to order them according to God’s word.

To walk before me; to live as those that have God before their eyes, and endeavour to approve themselves to him.

In truth; not only in pretence and show, but truly and sincerely. With all their heart, and with all their soul, i.e. universally, freely, and fervently.

There shall not fail thee a man on the throne of Israel; the succession shall be continued in thy line without any interruption.

Moreover thou knowest also what Joab the son of Zeruiah did to me, and what he did to the two captains of the hosts of Israel, unto Abner the son of Ner, and unto Amasa the son of Jether, whom he slew, and shed the blood of war in peace, and put the blood of war upon his girdle that was about his loins, and in his shoes that were on his feet.
Did to me, i.e. against me; either, first, Directly and immediately; how insolently and imperiously he hath carried himself towards me from time to time, trampling upon my authority and commands when they thwarted his humour or interest, provoking my spirit by his words and actions. See 2 Samuel 3:39 19:7. Or, secondly, Indirectly, in what he did against Abner and Amasa; whose death was a great injury to David, as it was a breach of his laws and peace; a contempt of his person and government; a pernicious example to others of his subjects upon the like occasions; a great scandal and dishonour to him, as if Joab had been only David’s instrument, to effect what he secretly desired and designed; whereby the hearts of his people either were or might have been alienated from him, and inflamed against him, and the wounds which were well nigh healed might have been widened again, and made to bleed afresh.

And what he did, or, even; the following branches being added as an explication of the foregoing, to show what and how he acted towards or against David. Or, and particularly; as his other miscarriages, so these especially.

Shed the blood of war in peace; he slew them as if they had been in the state and act of war, when there was not only a cessation of arms, but also a treaty and agreement of peace, of which also they were the great procurers and promoters.

Upon his girdle that was about his loins, and in his shoes that were on his feet: this is added to note his impudence and impenitency, that although by his perfidious manner of killing them, when he pretended to embrace them, he stained his own garments with their blood, yet he was not ashamed of it, but gloried in it, and marched boldly along with the army with the same girdle and shoes which were sprinkled with their blood. See 2 Samuel 20:10.

Do therefore according to thy wisdom, and let not his hoar head go down to the grave in peace.
According to thy wisdom, i.e. what in reason and justice thou seest fit. For though I was forced to forbear him when it was in a manner out of my power to punish him, yet I never forgave him; and therefore do thou wisely and severely examine all his actions, and particularly this last rebellion, and punish him according to his demerits.

Let not his hoar head go down to the grave in peace; though he be old, having been the general of the army forty years, yet do not suffer him to die a natural death, but cut him off by the sword of justice.

But shew kindness unto the sons of Barzillai the Gileadite, and let them be of those that eat at thy table: for so they came to me when I fled because of Absalom thy brother.
Quest. Why doth he not require the like kindness to Mephibosheth the son of his dear Jonathan?

Answ. Either he and his were now extinct, or by their after-miscarriages had forfeited his favour.

For so, i.e. with such kindness either as I cannot express, (as the particle so is elsewhere used,) or as I command thee to show to them.

They, i.e. Barzillai and his sons; for though Barzillai only be mentioned, 2 Samuel 17:27, yet his sons doubtless were instrumental in the business, especially Chimham, 2 Samuel 19:37,38.

And, behold, thou hast with thee Shimei the son of Gera, a Benjamite of Bahurim, which cursed me with a grievous curse in the day when I went to Mahanaim: but he came down to meet me at Jordan, and I sware to him by the LORD, saying, I will not put thee to death with the sword.
With thee, i.e. in thy power, as that phrase is oft used.

Cursed me with a grievous curse; or, reproached me with bitter reproaches, 2 Samuel 16:7,8; which David could not but deeply resent from him, though, as it was an affliction sent from God, he patiently submitted to it.

I will not put thee to death with the sword.

Quest. How then could David lawfully engage Solomon to punish him for it? And did David upon his death-bed bear malice against Shimei?

Answ. First, David was not a private person, which might remit such offences without any inconvenience; but a public magistrate, who for the honour and maintenance of government was obliged to punish such insolent and opprobrious speeches, if the necessity of his affairs had not then engaged him to pass it by. Otherwise it appears from divers passages of the Psalms, and of this history, how free David was from a rancorous and revengeful spirit, even towards his enemies.

Secondly, The following advice is not contrary to David’s oath, both because that was only personal, that David would not kill him either at that time, as Abishai desired him, or whilst he lived, and did not oblige his successors; and especially, because it was not David’s mind that Shimei should be put to death for that fault, (as is evident; for then there was no need of Solomon’s wisdom to find out an occasion, but only of his justice to punish him for the old crime,) but for some other competent crime, which Solomon’s wisdom, narrowly prying into all his actions, would easily find out. And if the condition which Solomon imposed upon Shimei, 1 Kings 2:36,37, seem hard, it must be remembered that David only swore that he would pardon him as to life, but not that he would exempt him from all punishment or confinement.

Now therefore hold him not guiltless: for thou art a wise man, and knowest what thou oughtest to do unto him; but his hoar head bring thou down to the grave with blood.
Hold him not guiltless; though I have spared his life, do not treat him as an innocent person, neither let him go wholly unpunished.

Thou art a wise man, and therefore wilt easily find out just occasions to chastise him, especially considering his perverse and wicked disposition.

What thou oughtest to do unto him; how to punish him, not without just cause, and yet without any violation of my oath, or reflection upon me, or upon religion for my or thy sake.

With blood, i.e. with the effusion of his blood; with a bloody or violent death.

So David slept with his fathers, and was buried in the city of David.
Slept with his fathers;

See Poole "1 Kings 1:21", See Poole "Deu 31:16".

In the city of David, i.e. in that part of Jerusalem which was called by his name, because he took it from the Jebusites. See 2 Samuel 5:7 1 Chronicles 11:5 2 Chronicles 5:2.

And the days that David reigned over Israel were forty years: seven years reigned he in Hebron, and thirty and three years reigned he in Jerusalem.
Seven years; more precisely, seven years and six months, 2 Samuel 5:5; but smaller sums are oft neglected in Scripture computations.

Then sat Solomon upon the throne of David his father; and his kingdom was established greatly.
Being settled upon him with universal consent and approbation, and with the hearty affections of his people, which all wise men know to be a prince’s best and surest establishment.

And Adonijah the son of Haggith came to Bathsheba the mother of Solomon. And she said, Comest thou peaceably? And he said, Peaceably.
Comest thou peaceably, or with some evil design upon me or my son? which she might well surmise, knowing his ambition and envy at Solomon, and his hatred against her, as the chief occasion of his dejection.

He said moreover, I have somewhat to say unto thee. And she said, Say on.
No text from Poole on this verse.

And he said, Thou knowest that the kingdom was mine, and that all Israel set their faces on me, that I should reign: howbeit the kingdom is turned about, and is become my brother's: for it was his from the LORD.
The kingdom was mine, both by birthright and by actual inauguration. It seems he could not yet forget his pretence to the crown, nor his ambition for it, but continues his claim; which, it seems, Solomon did apprehend and resent, though Bath-sheba did not; the wives and concubines of the late king being reputed to appertain to the successor. See 2 Samuel 12:8.

All Israel set their faces on me; they looked upon me as their king, and David’s successor, expecting that David should confirm my election.

The kingdom is turned about; translated from me to him, by the vicissitude of human affairs, and the changeable humour of the people.

It was his from the Lord; either, first, By God’s providence so disposing David’s mind, and the people’s hearts. Or rather, secondly, By God’s appointment and particular designation, wherein he would seem to acquiesce; which he mentions, not that he made any conscience of it, or had any regard to it; but only that by this pretence he might deceive both her and Solomon, as if he were far from any design of usurping the kingdom.

And now I ask one petition of thee, deny me not. And she said unto him, Say on.
Deny me not, Heb. do not turn away my face, i.e. do not send me out of thy presence sad or ashamed. Compare 2 Chronicles 6:42 Psalm 132:10.

And he said, Speak, I pray thee, unto Solomon the king, (for he will not say thee nay,) that he give me Abishag the Shunammite to wife.
Which though it was against a positive law of God, Leviticus 18:7, yet either Adonijah might be ignorant of it, being a man more studied in the affairs of the court than in the book of God; or might think her not concerned in it, because David knew her not, 1 Kings 1:4.

And Bathsheba said, Well; I will speak for thee unto the king.
No text from Poole on this verse.

Bathsheba therefore went unto king Solomon, to speak unto him for Adonijah. And the king rose up to meet her, and bowed himself unto her, and sat down on his throne, and caused a seat to be set for the king's mother; and she sat on his right hand.
The most honourable place next to the king’s. See 2 Chronicles 18:18 Nehemiah 8:4 Psalm 45:9 Matthew 20:21.

Then she said, I desire one small petition of thee; I pray thee, say me not nay. And the king said unto her, Ask on, my mother: for I will not say thee nay.
One small petition; so she esteemed it, because she did not perceive his design in it; and as for that law, Leviticus 18:7, she might apprehend, that because David knew her not, it was only a contract for marriage, and therefore no impediment of her marriage to any other after his death; which also is the opinion of some of the late learned Hebrew doctors.

I will not say thee nay; supposing thy request be but small, as thou sayest it is, and not unlawful, nor injurious to myself or others.

And she said, Let Abishag the Shunammite be given to Adonijah thy brother to wife.
Thy brother, by the father’s side, whom brotherly affection and relation obligeth thee to gratify, at least, in small things.

And king Solomon answered and said unto his mother, And why dost thou ask Abishag the Shunammite for Adonijah? ask for him the kingdom also; for he is mine elder brother; even for him, and for Abiathar the priest, and for Joab the son of Zeruiah.
Ask for him the kingdom also: his design is not upon Abishag, but upon the kingdom; which, by this means, he thinks to recover; partly because she was the last king’s wife, or concubine, which might strengthen his pretence to the crown; see 2 Samuel 3:7 12:8 16:21; and partly because by her eminent beauty, and near relation to David, she had a powerful interest in the court.

Quest. Was not this too harsh a censure, and the following punishment of it too severe?

Answ. 1. That Adonijah had such a design is very probable, both from his temper, for he was an aspiring and designing man, and highly discontented with Solomon’s government, and desirous of a change; and from the nature of the thing, because he would not have made so daring and presumptuous a request, if he had not some great design in it.

2. It is very likely from the following words, though not expressed, that he, and Joab, and Abiathar were engaged in some design against Solomon, and that Solomon had got information of it; and therefore he did and might reasonably take this for an indication, and the first overt act of his treason.

3. Solomon did not pardon Adonijah’s treason simply and absolutely, but upon condition that he carried himself worthily, 1 Kings 1:52; and this being confessedly a bold and unworthy action, and arguing more confidence and presumption than became him, and carrying in it the appearance and intention of an incestuous marriage, he might justly revive his guilt, and take this occasion to execute the sentence which he formerly deserved. If it be said, That it is very improbable that Adonijah should expect to get the kingdom from Solomon, who was so firmly established in it with universal applause; it may be answered, That Adonijah was not the only man that hath fed himself with vain hopes, and engaged himself in high and treasonable designs, where to other wise men there was but little likelihood of success; and that he might now be only laying the foundation of what he further intended, when he saw a fit time, and getting a pretence for his future attempts upon the crown; either when Solomon should lose the people’s affections, as David had done; or when Solomon should die, which also Adonijah might secretly procure and hasten; and he had only Solomon’s young and tender son to contest with. All which, and many other things, Solomon in his great wisdom might easily discern; yea, or have some secret intelligence of, though it be not recorded.

He is mine elder brother; he looks upon the kingdom as his by nature and birthright, and the law of nations; and therefore he may seek to recover his own, and to cast me out as a usurper.

And for Abiathar and for Joab; who have all a hand in the plot, though he alone appear in it; which appears the more likely, because of Solomon proceeding against them all at the same time, as appears in the following verses.

Then king Solomon sware by the LORD, saying, God do so to me, and more also, if Adonijah have not spoken this word against his own life.
Sware by the Lord; once here, and again, 1 Kings 2:24; which he did to oblige himself irrevocably to it, and to prevent all intercessions for his life, it being of so great importance to him.

Now therefore, as the LORD liveth, which hath established me, and set me on the throne of David my father, and who hath made me an house, as he promised, Adonijah shall be put to death this day.
Though Adonijah be my elder brother, yet I have an undoubted right and title to the crown, and that from the promise and appointment of that God who disposeth of all kingdoms, and especially this of Israel, to whom he pleaseth; and therefore Adonijah in this and his former attempt is guilty of treason against me, and of rebellion against God.

Who hath made me an house; either,

1. Who hath given me posterity, as that phrase is used, Exodus 1:21, and elsewhere; for Rehoboam most probably was born before this time, by comparing 1 Kings 14:21. Or rather,

2. Who hath established me in the house and throne of David; which he thus expresseth, to signify, that God hath fulfilled in and to him that promise which he made to David, in 2 Samuel 7:11, where the same phrase is used, and where it doth not so much signify the giving of David posterity, which he had sufficiently before that time, as the settlement of the crown in him and his seed.

Adonijah shall be put to death this day; for he knew delays were dangerous in matters of that nature.

And king Solomon sent by the hand of Benaiah the son of Jehoiada; and he fell upon him that he died.
For the execution of justice was not then committed to obscure persons, as now it is; but to persons of great honour and authority. See Judges 8:21 1 Samuel 22:18 2 Samuel 1:15 4:12. He fell upon him with a sword, or other instrument of death; as below, 1 Kings 2:32,34,46.

And unto Abiathar the priest said the king, Get thee to Anathoth, unto thine own fields; for thou art worthy of death: but I will not at this time put thee to death, because thou barest the ark of the Lord GOD before David my father, and because thou hast been afflicted in all wherein my father was afflicted.
To Anathoth, a city of the priests, Joshua 21:18, to lead a private life there.

Unto thine own fields; either that part of the suburbs which fell to his share, or other land which he had purchased there. See Jeremiah 32:7.

At this time: he doth not fully pardon him, but only forbears him, and reserves to himself a liberty of punishing him afterwards, if he saw occasion; which he doth to keep him in awe, that he might not dare to raise or foment discontents or tumults among the people, which otherwise he might be prone to do.

Because thou barest the ark of the Lord God before David my father, when he thought fit to carry it out with him; as 2 Samuel 15:24,29 1 Chronicles 15:11,12; when he as high priest was to attend upon it. Thus Solomon showeth his respect to his sacred function.

Thou hast been afflicted in all wherein my father was afflicted: here he mixeth mercy with justice, and requites Abiathar’s former kindness to David; hereby teaching princes that they should not write injuries in marble, and benefits in sand or water, as they have been too oft observed to do.

So Solomon thrust out Abiathar from being priest unto the LORD; that he might fulfil the word of the LORD, which he spake concerning the house of Eli in Shiloh.
From being priest unto the Lord; either from his office, or at least, from the execution of his office. For some think that he was thrust from his office before David’s death, when Zadok was formerly made priest, i.e. high priest, in his stead, 1 Chronicles 29:22. But that seems to be a mistake; for although that passage immediately follows the history of what was done in the time of David’s life and health, when he was in a capacity of going into the public congregation; yet it manifestly belongs to another time, and was done after it; for he there speaks of Solomon’s

being made king the second time, and he was made king but twice; once undoubtedly before this, 1 Chronicles 23:1; and again 1 Kings 1:39; when David was bedrid, and Adonijah’s usurpation made a second unction necessary. And therefore what is said 1 Chronicles 29:22, of Zadok’s being made priest, was done after Abiathar’s deposition, and upon that occasion.

That he might fulfil the word of the Lord; for what hinders but Solomon might intend this not only as a punishment for his treason, but also as a means to accomplish God’s word?

Concerning the house of Eli, i.e. concerning the translation of the priesthood from the house of Eli, and of Ithamar, unto that of Eleazar; which being threatened eighty years ago, is now executed. So Divine vengeance, though sometimes it be slow, is always sure.

Then tidings came to Joab: for Joab had turned after Adonijah, though he turned not after Absalom. And Joab fled unto the tabernacle of the LORD, and caught hold on the horns of the altar.
Tidings came to Joab, concerning Adonijah’s death, and Abiathar’s deposition.

The tabernacle of the Lord then was at Gibeon, 1 Kings 3:4, compared with 2 Chronicles 1:3,5. Caught hold on the horns of the altar; of which see before, 1 Kings 1:50.

And it was told king Solomon that Joab was fled unto the tabernacle of the LORD; and, behold, he is by the altar. Then Solomon sent Benaiah the son of Jehoiada, saying, Go, fall upon him.
To wit, if he will not come thence, as I foresee he will not.

And Benaiah came to the tabernacle of the LORD, and said unto him, Thus saith the king, Come forth. And he said, Nay; but I will die here. And Benaiah brought the king word again, saying, Thus said Joab, and thus he answered me.
Thus saith the king, Come forth: that the king gave him this command, though it be not mentioned before, is evident, both from the nature of the thing; for Solomon would not pollute the altar without necessity; and from Benaiah’s affirmation of it; for why should he tell a lie without a cause? and from his return to the king for new orders upon Joab’s resolution not to come thence.

I will die here; for he supposed either that Solomon would not defile that place with his blood; or that he would spare him for his respect to it, as he had done Adonijah; or he had a superstitious conceit that his dying there might give his guilty and miserable soul some advantage.

And the king said unto him, Do as he hath said, and 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.
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 LORD shall return his blood upon his own head, who fell upon two men more righteous and better than he, and slew them with the sword, my father David not knowing thereof, to wit, Abner the son of Ner, captain of the host of Israel, and Amasa the son of Jether, captain of the host of Judah.
His blood, i.e. the guilt of the blood which he shed.

More righteous and better than he; of more ingenuous and generous tempers, abhorring from all such treacherous practices; and both of them then devoted to and employed in my service.

Their blood shall therefore return upon the head of Joab, and upon the head of his seed for ever: but upon David, and upon his seed, and upon his house, and upon his throne, shall there be peace for ever from the LORD.
Upon the head of his seed for ever; either as long as he shall have a posterity, or for a long time, as that phrase is commonly used; but in and by this execution of justice upon him, and such malefactors, my throne shall be established, and God will bless me and mine with peace and prosperity.

So Benaiah the son of Jehoiada went up, and fell upon him, and slew him: and he was buried in his own house in the wilderness.
Places which have but few houses and inhabitants are oft so called in Scripture, as Isaiah 42:11 Jeremiah 25:24 Ezekiel 34:25.

And the king put Benaiah the son of Jehoiada in his room over the host: and Zadok the priest did the king put in the room of Abiathar.
He now put him in the execution of that office to which he may seem to have been anointed before, 1 Chronicles 29:22; but of that, See Poole "1 Chronicles 29:27".

And the king sent and called for Shimei, and said unto him, Build thee an house in Jerusalem, and dwell there, and go not forth thence any whither.
This Solomon ordered, partly, for his own security, that being removed from that place where his kindred, and estate, and interest lay, to a place where he was but a stranger, and sufficiently odious for his former and never-to-be-forgotten insolency towards his lord and king, he might be incapable of raising any tumults and seditions; partly, as a penalty for his former wickedness, wherein yet there was more mercy than justice, and from which David had not promised him any security, but only given him his life; and partly, that being in this public theatre, all his words and actions might be narrowly observed; which, considering his busy, and covetous, and wicked temper, was likely to give Solomon the advantage which he sought for; and this very prohibition would probably inflame his desire of transgressing it, as the manner of men is.

For it shall be, that on the day thou goest out, and passest over the brook Kidron, thou shalt know for certain that thou shalt surely die: thy blood shall be upon thine own head.
The brook Kidron; a brook nigh unto Jerusalem, of which see 2 Samuel 15:23 2 Kings 23:4; which he particularly names, because that was the way to Bahurim, his former and settled habitation: but this is not to be understood exclusively to other ways and places; for the restraint was general, that he should

not go forth thence any whither, 1 Kings 2:36, to wit, as far any other way as Cedron was: which also appears from the following history; for when he went to Gath, he went not over Cedron, (which lay eastward from the city,) but westward, as Gath lay.

Thy blood shall be upon thine own head; the blame and guilt of thy blood shall lie upon thyself only.

And Shimei said unto the king, The saying is good: as my lord the king hath said, so will thy servant do. And Shimei dwelt in Jerusalem many days.
The saying is good; thy sentence is much more merciful than I expected or deserved. So will thy servant do; and Shimei did not only promise it, but also swore to it; being required by Solomon to do so, as is manifest from 1 Kings 2:42,43.

And it came to pass at the end of three years, that two of the servants of Shimei ran away unto Achish son of Maachah king of Gath. And they told Shimei, saying, Behold, thy servants be in Gath.
Achish son of Maachah king of Gath; a king, but subject and tributary, first to David, and then to Solomon. This might be either that Achish who showed so much kindness to David, 1Sa 27,1Sa 28, or his son; who, in requital of this kindness, was still permitted to enjoy the title and honour of a king, but not the full power; whence it was that Achish could not, or durst not, keep these servants, though they had fled to him for protection, but suffered Shimei to take them away from his royal city.

And Shimei arose, and saddled his ass, and went to Gath to Achish to seek his servants: and Shimei went, and brought his servants from Gath.
Went to Gath; which, though highly dangerous, he attempted, partly, because he was blinded with covetousness and rage and against his servants, which two lusts have done, daily do, engage men to such courses and actions as are no less dangerous to their lives than this is; partly, because he thought length of time had worn this out of Solomon’s mind, and other men’s thoughts; and that this being done secretly and speedily, would never have come to Solomon’s ears; or that Solomon would not be severe in this case, where it was not wantonness nor contempt of his authority, but the necessity of his household concerns, which put him upon it; and partly, because God withdrew from him the light of common prudence, and wholly left him to his own mistakes, and folly, and lusts; and withal, to the instigation of the devil, whose cunning and powerful artifices and insinuations he could not resist without Divine help.

And it was told Solomon that Shimei had gone from Jerusalem to Gath, and was come again.
It was told Solomon, who doubtless had his spies appointed to observe him in all his motions.

And the king sent and called for Shimei, and said unto him, Did I not make thee to swear by the LORD, and protested unto thee, saying, Know for a certain, on the day thou goest out, and walkest abroad any whither, that thou shalt surely die? and thou saidst unto me, The word that I have heard is good.
No text from Poole on this verse.

Why then hast thou not kept the oath of the LORD, and the commandment that I have charged thee with?
He was guilty both of rebellion against the express, and just, and (as himself called it) good command of the king, and of perjury against God; which were two high and heinous crimes. His oath he calls

the oath of the Lord, because it was taken in God’s presence, and he was called upon as a witness of it, and as the avenger of all violations of it, and because the law of God obliged him to the performance of it.

The king said moreover to Shimei, Thou knowest all the wickedness which thine heart is privy to, that thou didst to David my father: therefore the LORD shall return thy wickedness upon thine own head;
Thou knowest all the wickedness which thine heart is privy to; for which thy own conscience accuseth thee, and there is no need of other witnesses.

Shall return, Heb. hath returned, which seems most proper. God hath punished thee for thy former wickedness, by suffering thee to fall into further crimes, and expose thyself to thy deserved death.

And king Solomon shall be blessed, and the throne of David shall be established before the LORD for ever.
The throne of David; that royal power and dignity conferred upon David to him and his heirs for ever.

Shall be established by the execution of such righteous judgments as this is.

Before the Lord; in the presence of that God who is both an observer and rewarder of all such righteous actions; or under God’s inspection, and by his blessing.

So the king commanded Benaiah the son of Jehoiada; which went out, and fell upon him, that he died. And the kingdom was established in the hand of Solomon.
Which went out; carrying Shimei along with him to the place of execution, which was not fit to be in the king’s presence.

The kingdom was established in the hand of Solomon; his secret and worst enemies being taken out of the way.

Matthew Poole's Commentary

Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.

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