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1 Kings 2

David’s Final Words to Solomon

2:1 When David was close to death, 1  he told 2  Solomon his son: 2:2 “I am about to die. 3  Be strong and become a man! 2:3 Do the job the Lord your God has assigned you 4  by following his instructions 5  and obeying 6  his rules, commandments, regulations, and laws as written in the law of Moses. Then you will succeed in all you do and seek to accomplish, 7  2:4 and the Lord will fulfill his promise to me, 8  ‘If your descendants watch their step 9  and live faithfully in my presence 10  with all their heart and being, 11  then,’ he promised, 12  ‘you will not fail to have a successor on the throne of Israel.’ 13 

2:5 “You know what Joab son of Zeruiah did to me – how he murdered two commanders of the Israelite armies, Abner son of Ner and Amasa son of Jether. 14  During peacetime he struck them down like he would in battle; 15  when he shed their blood as if in battle, he stained his own belt and the sandals on his feet. 16  2:6 Do to him what you think is appropriate, 17  but don’t let him live long and die a peaceful death. 18 

2:7 “Treat fairly 19  the sons of Barzillai of Gilead and provide for their needs, 20  because they helped me 21  when I had to flee from your brother Absalom.

2:8 “Note well, you still have to contend with Shimei son of Gera, the Benjaminite from Bahurim, 22  who tried to call down upon me a horrible judgment when I went to Mahanaim. 23  He came down and met me at the Jordan, and I solemnly promised 24  him by the Lord, ‘I will not strike you down 25  with the sword.’ 2:9 But now 26  don’t treat him as if he were innocent. You are a wise man and you know how to handle him; 27  make sure he has a bloody death.” 28 

2:10 Then David passed away 29  and was buried in the city of David. 30  2:11 David reigned over Israel forty years; he reigned in Hebron seven years, and in Jerusalem 31  thirty-three years.

Solomon Secures the Throne

2:12 Solomon sat on his father David’s throne, and his royal authority 32  was firmly solidified.

2:13 Haggith’s son Adonijah visited Bathsheba, Solomon’s mother. She asked, “Do you come in peace?” He answered, “Yes.” 33  2:14 He added, 34  “I have something to say to you.” She replied, “Speak.” 2:15 He said, “You know that the kingdom 35  was mine and all Israel considered me king. 36  But then the kingdom was given to my brother, for the Lord decided it should be his. 37  2:16 Now I’d like to ask you for just one thing. Please don’t refuse me.” 38  She said, “Go ahead and ask.” 39  2:17 He said, “Please ask King Solomon if he would give me Abishag the Shunammite as a wife, for he won’t refuse you.” 40  2:18 Bathsheba replied, “That’s fine, 41  I’ll speak to the king on your behalf.”

2:19 So Bathsheba visited King Solomon to speak to him on Adonijah’s behalf. The king got up to greet 42  her, bowed to her, and then sat on his throne. He ordered a throne to be brought for the king’s mother, 43  and she sat at his right hand. 2:20 She said, “I would like to ask you for just one small favor. 44  Please don’t refuse me.” 45  He said, 46  “Go ahead and ask, my mother, for I would not refuse you.” 2:21 She said, “Allow Abishag the Shunammite to be given to your brother Adonijah as a wife.” 2:22 King Solomon answered his mother, “Why just request Abishag the Shunammite for him? 47  Since he is my older brother, you should also request the kingdom for him, for Abiathar the priest, and for Joab son of Zeruiah!”

2:23 King Solomon then swore an oath by the Lord, “May God judge me severely, 48  if Adonijah does not pay for this request with his life! 49  2:24 Now, as certainly as the Lord lives (he who made me secure, allowed me to sit on my father David’s throne, and established a dynasty 50  for me as he promised), Adonijah will be executed today!” 2:25 King Solomon then sent 51  Benaiah son of Jehoiada, and he killed Adonijah. 52 

2:26 The king then told Abiathar the priest, “Go back to your property 53  in Anathoth. You deserve to die, 54  but today I will not kill you because you did carry the ark of the sovereign Lord before my father David and you suffered with my father through all his difficult times.” 55  2:27 Solomon dismissed Abiathar from his position as priest of the Lord, 56  fulfilling the decree of judgment the Lord made in Shiloh against the family of Eli. 57 

2:28 When the news reached Joab (for Joab had supported 58  Adonijah, although he had not supported Absalom), he 59  ran to the tent of the Lord and grabbed hold of the horns of the altar. 60  2:29 When King Solomon heard 61  that Joab had run to the tent of the Lord and was right there beside the altar, he ordered Benaiah son of Jehoiada, 62  “Go, strike him down.” 2:30 When Benaiah arrived at the tent of the Lord, he said to him, “The king says, ‘Come out!’” But he replied, “No, I will die here!” So Benaiah sent word to the king and reported Joab’s reply. 63  2:31 The king told him, “Do as he said! Strike him down and bury him. Take away from me and from my father’s family 64  the guilt of Joab’s murderous, bloody deeds. 65  2:32 May the Lord punish him for the blood he shed; 66  behind my father David’s back he struck down and murdered with the sword two men who were more innocent and morally upright than he 67  – Abner son of Ner, commander of Israel’s army, and Amasa son of Jether, commander of Judah’s army. 2:33 May Joab and his descendants be perpetually guilty of their shed blood, but may the Lord give perpetual peace to David, his descendants, his family, 68  and his dynasty.” 69  2:34 So Benaiah son of Jehoiada went up and executed Joab; 70  he was buried at his home in the wilderness. 2:35 The king appointed Benaiah son of Jehoiada to take his place at the head of 71  the army, and the king appointed Zadok the priest to take Abiathar’s place. 72 

2:36 Next the king summoned 73  Shimei and told him, “Build yourself a house in Jerusalem 74  and live there – but you may not leave there to go anywhere! 75  2:37 If you ever do leave and cross the Kidron Valley, know for sure that you will certainly die! You will be responsible for your own death.” 76  2:38 Shimei said to the king, “My master the king’s proposal is acceptable. 77  Your servant will do as you say.” 78  So Shimei lived in Jerusalem for a long time. 79 

2:39 Three years later two of Shimei’s servants ran away to King Achish son of Maacah of Gath. Shimei was told, “Look, your servants are in Gath.” 2:40 So Shimei got up, saddled his donkey, and went to Achish at Gath to find his servants; Shimei went and brought back his servants from Gath. 2:41 When Solomon was told that Shimei had gone from Jerusalem to Gath and had then returned, 2:42 the king summoned 80  Shimei and said to him, “You will recall 81  that I made you take an oath by the Lord, and I solemnly warned you, ‘If you ever leave and go anywhere, 82  know for sure that you will certainly die.’ You said to me, ‘The proposal is acceptable; I agree to it.’ 83  2:43 Why then have you broken the oath you made before the Lord and disobeyed the order I gave you?” 84  2:44 Then the king said to Shimei, “You are well aware of the way you mistreated my father David. 85  The Lord will punish you for what you did. 86  2:45 But King Solomon will be empowered 87  and David’s dynasty 88  will endure permanently before the Lord.” 2:46 The king then gave the order to Benaiah son of Jehoiada who went and executed Shimei. 89 

So Solomon took firm control of the kingdom. 90 

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1 tn Heb “and the days of David approached to die.”

2 tn Or “commanded.”

3 tn Heb “going the way of all the earth.”

4 tn Heb “keep the charge of the Lord your God.”

5 tn Heb “by walking in his ways.”

6 tn Or “keeping.”

7 tn Heb “then you will cause to succeed all which you do and all which you turn there.”

8 tn Heb “then the Lord will establish his word which he spoke to me, saying.”

9 tn Heb “guard their way.”

10 tn Heb “by walking before me in faithfulness.”

11 tn Or “soul.”

12 tn Heb “saying.”

13 tn Heb “there will not be cut off from you a man from upon the throne of Israel.”

14 tn Heb “what he did to the two commanders…and he killed them.”

15 tn Heb “he shed the blood of battle in peace.”

16 tn Heb “and he shed the blood of battle when he killed which is on his waist and on his sandal[s] which are on his feet.” That is, he covered himself with guilt and his guilt was obvious to all who saw him.

17 tn Heb “according to your wisdom.”

18 tn Heb “and do not bring down his grey hair in peace [to] Sheol.”

19 tn Heb “do loyalty with”; or “act faithfully toward.”

20 tn Heb “and let them be among the ones who eat [at] your table.”

21 tn Heb “drew near to.”

22 tn Heb “Look, with you is Shimei….”

23 tn Heb “and he cursed me with a horrible curse on the day I went to Mahanaim.”

24 tn Or “swore an oath to.”

25 tn Heb “kill you.”

26 tc The Lucianic recension of the Old Greek and the Vulgate have here “you” rather than “now.” The two words are homonyms in Hebrew.

27 tn Heb “what you should do to him.”

28 tn Heb “bring his grey hair down in blood [to] Sheol.”

29 tn Heb “and David lay down with his fathers.”

30 sn The phrase the city of David refers here to the fortress of Zion in Jerusalem, not to Bethlehem. See 2 Sam 5:7.

31 map For location see Map5 B1; Map6 F3; Map7 E2; Map8 F2; Map10 B3; JP1 F4; JP2 F4; JP3 F4; JP4 F4.

32 tn Or “kingship.”

33 tn Heb “[in] peace.”

34 tn Heb “and he said.”

35 tn Or “kingship.”

36 tn Heb “set their face to me to be king.”

37 tn Heb “and the kingdom turned about and became my brother’s, for from the Lord it became his.”

38 tn Heb “Do not turn back my face.”

39 tn Heb “She said, ‘Speak!’”

40 tn Heb “Say to Solomon the king, for he will not turn back your face, that he might give to me Abishag the Shunammite for a wife.”

41 tn Heb “[It is] good!”

42 tn Or “meet.”

43 tn Heb “he set up a throne for the mother of the king.”

44 tn Or “I’d like to make just one request of you.”

45 tn Heb “Do not turn back my face.”

46 tn Heb “and the king said to her.”

47 tn Heb “for Adonijah.”

48 tn Heb “So may God do to me, and so may he add.”

49 tn Heb “if with his life Adonijah has not spoken this word.”

50 tn Heb “house.”

51 tn The Hebrew text adds, “by the hand of.”

52 tn Heb “and he struck him and he died.”

53 tn Or “field.”

54 tn Heb “you are a man of death.”

55 tn Heb “and because you suffered through all which my father suffered.”

56 tn Heb “Solomon drove out Abiathar from being a priest to the Lord.

57 tn Heb “fulfilling the word of the Lord which he spoke against the house of Eli in Shiloh.”

58 tn Heb “turned after” (also later in this verse).

59 tn Heb “Joab.” The proper name has been replaced by the pronoun (“he”) in the translation for stylistic reasons.

60 sn Grabbed hold of the horns of the altar. The “horns” of the altar were the horn-shaped projections on the four corners of the altar (see Exod 27:2). By going to the holy place and grabbing hold of the horns of the altar, Joab was seeking asylum from Solomon.

61 tn Heb “and it was related to King Solomon.”

62 tn Heb “so Solomon sent Benaiah son of Jehoiada, saying.”

63 tn Heb “saying, “In this way Joab spoke and in this way he answered me.”

64 tn Heb “house.”

65 tn Heb “take away the undeserved bloodshed which Joab spilled from upon me and from upon the house of my father.”

66 tn Heb “The Lord will cause his blood to return upon his head.”

67 tn Heb “because he struck down two men more innocent and better than he and he killed them with the sword, and my father David did not know.”

68 tn Heb “house.”

69 tn Heb “his throne.”

70 tn Heb “struck him and killed him.” The referent (Joab) has been specified in the translation for clarity.

71 tn Heb “over.”

72 tc The Old Greek translation includes after v. 35 some fourteen verses that are absent from the MT.

73 tn Heb “sent and summoned.”

74 map For location see Map5 B1; Map6 F3; Map7 E2; Map8 F2; Map10 B3; JP1 F4; JP2 F4; JP3 F4; JP4 F4.

75 tn Heb “and you may not go out from there here or there.”

76 tn Heb “your blood will be upon your head.”

77 tn Heb “Good is the word, as my master the king has spoken.”

78 tn Heb “so your servant will do.”

79 tn Heb “many days.”

80 tn Heb “sent and summoned.”

81 tn Heb “Is it not [true]…?” In the Hebrew text the statement is interrogative; the rhetorical question expects the answer, “Of course it is.”

82 tn Heb “here or there.”

83 tn Heb “good is the word; I have heard.”

84 tn Heb “Why have you not kept the oath [to] the Lord and the commandment I commanded you?”

85 tn Heb “You know all the evil, for your heart knows, which you did to David my father.”

86 tn Heb “The Lord will cause your evil to return upon your head.”

87 tn Or “blessed.”

88 tn Heb “throne.”

89 tn “The king commanded Benaiah son of Jehoiada and he went out and struck him down and he died.”

90 tn “And the kingdom was established in the hand of Solomon.”

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