1 Kings 2

The Book of 1 Kings
Chapter 2

Chapter Overview:

David's charge to Solomon ver. 1 - 9.
His death and burial, with the beginning of Solomon's reign, ver. 10 - 12.
He puts Adonijah to death, ver. 13 - 25.
Deposes Abiathar from the high - priesthood, ver. 26, 27.
Puts Joab to death, ver. 28 - 35.
Confines Shimei, to Jerusalem, ver. 36 - 38.
Puts him to death, ver. 39 - 46.
2:2I go the way, &c. - Even the sons and heirs of heaven, must go the way of all the earth, of all who dwell thereon. But they walk withpleasure in this way, thro' the valley of the shadow of death.Prophets, yea kings must go this way to brighter light and honour thanprophecy or sovereignty. Be strong - For, to govern his people accordingto the law of God, requires great fortitude, or strength of mind. And aman - In manly wisdom, and courage, and constancy, though thou art butyoung in years.
2:3The law - Which the prince was enjoined to transcribe and read, 17:11 , that be might govern his own and his peoples actions byit. Mayest profit - Or, behave thyself prudently. Hereby heintimates, that religion is the truest reason of state, and that all truewisdom and good success depend upon piety.
2:4Confirm his word - Fulfil his promise, the condition upon which it was suspended, being performed.
2:5To me - That is, against me; in what he did against Abner and Amasa: whose death was a great injury to David, as it was a breachof his laws and peace; a contempt of his person and government; a perniciousexample to his subjects, and a great scandal to him, as if Joab had beenonly David's instrument, to affect what he secretly designed.And shed - He slew them as if they had been in the state of war, whenthere was not only a cessation of arms, but also a treaty of peace. Putthe blood - This is added to note his impenitency, that although by hisperfidious manner of killing them when he pretended to embrace them, hestained his own garments with their blood, yet he was not ashamed of it, butgloried in it, and marched boldly along with the army, with the same girdleand shoes which were sprinkled with their blood.
2:6Do therefore - That is, what in reason and justice thou seest fit.For tho' I was forced to forbear him, yet I never forgave him; punish himaccording to his demerits.
2:7For so - With such kindness.
2:8I will not, &c. - The words are, The king said unto Shimei, thou shalt not die: and the king sware unto him, 19:23 .The oath, we see, was absolute. It was not, I will not put thee to deathnow. or, I will not put thee to death with the sword. But whocan reconcile his charge to Solomon with this oath? Surely, consideringthe time of that charge, this next to the matter of Uriah, is thegreatest blemish in all David's life.
2:25Benaiah - For the execution of justice was not then committed to obscure persons, as now it is; but to persons of great honour and authority.It is far from clear, that Solomon did right herein, or that Adonijahhad any ill design in asking Abishag.
2:26Because, &c. - Thus Solomon shews respect to his sacred function. He mixes mercy with justice, and requites Abiathar's formerkindness to David; hereby teaching princes, that they should not writeinjuries in marble, and benefits in sand, as they have been so oftenobserved to do.
2:27Which he spake - Concerning the translation of the priesthood from the house of Eli, and of Ithamar, to that of Eleazar: whichbeing threatened eighty years ago, is now executed. So divine vengeance,though sometimes it be slow, is always sure.
2:30He said, Nay, &c. - For he supposed, either, that Solomon would not defile that place with his blood, but would spare him for hisrespect to it, as he had done Adonijah: or, he had a superstitiousconceit, that his dying there might give his guilty and miserable soulsome advantage.
2:31Do, &c. - 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 killthe murderer there, but to remove him thence, to take him from the altar,that he may die.
2:34Wilderness - Places which have but few houses and inhabitants, are often so called in scripture. He was buried privately, like a criminal,not pompously, like a general.
2:36Go not forth - This Solomon ordered, both for his own security; and as a penalty for his former wickedness.
2:37Kidron - A brook nigh Jerusalem, which he particularly names, because that was the way to Bahurim, his former habitation: but this isnot all, for the restraint was general, that he should not go forththence any whither. Thy blood - The blame and guilt of thy bloodshall lie upon thyself only.
2:38Is good - Thy sentence is more merciful than I expected, or deserved.
2:39Achish - A king, but subject and tributary, to Solomon.Permitted to enjoy the title and honour of a king, but not the full power;whence it was, that Achish could not keep these servants though they hadfled to him for protection; but suffered Shimei to take them away fromhis royal city.
2:40To seek his servants - By seeking his servants, says Bp. Hall, he lost himself. These earthly things either are, or shouldbe our servants. How commonly do we see men run out of the bounds set byGod's laws, to hunt after them, till their souls incur a fearful judgment.
2:44Thine heart - For which thine own conscience accuseth thee, and there is no need of other witnesses. The Lord - God hath punished theefor thy former wickedness, by suffering thee to expose thyself to thydeserved death.