1 Kings 2

1 Now the days of David drew near that he should die; and he charged Solomon, his son, saying,
2 I go the way of all the earth; be thou strong therefore and show thyself a man.
3 Keep the charge of the LORD thy God, walking in his ways, keeping his statutes and his commandments and his rights and his testimonies, as it is written in the law of Moses, that thou may have understanding in all that thou doest and in everything that thou dost undertake,
4 that the LORD may confirm the word which he spoke concerning me, saying, If thy sons take heed to their way, walking 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.
5 Moreover thou knowest also what Joab, the son of Zeruiah, did to me and what he did to the two captains of the host of Israel, unto Abner, the son of Ner and unto Amasa, the son of Jether, whom he slew, shedding the blood of war in peace and putting the blood of war upon his girdle that was about his loins and in his shoes that were on his feet.
6 Do, therefore, according to thy wisdom and let not his hoar head go down to Sheol in peace.
7 But show mercy unto the sons of Barzillai, the Gileadite, and let them be of those that eat at thy table, for they came thus unto me when I fled because of Absalom, thy brother.
8 And, behold, thou hast with thee Shimei, the son of Gera, a Benjamite of Bahurim, who cursed me with a grievous curse in the day when I went to Mahanaim. But he came down to meet me at the Jordan, and I swore to him by the LORD, saying, I will not put thee to death with the sword.
9 Now therefore do not hold him guiltless, for thou art a wise man and knowest what thou should do with him, but thou shalt bring his hoar head down to Sheol with blood.
10 And David slept with his fathers and was buried in the city of David.
11 The days that David reigned over Israel were forty years; he reigned seven years in Hebron, and he reigned thirty-three years in Jerusalem.
12 Then Solomon sat upon the throne of David his father, and his kingdom was established greatly.
13 Then Adonijah, the son of Haggith, came to Bathsheba, the mother of Solomon. And she said, Comest thou peaceably? And he said, Peaceably.
14 He said moreover, I have a word to say unto thee. And she said, Say on.
15 And he said, Thou knowest that the kingdom was mine and that all Israel had set their faces on me that I should reign, but the kingdom is turned about and is become my brother’s, for by the LORD it was his.
16 And now I ask one petition of thee, do not deny me. And she said unto him, Say on.
17 Then he said, Speak, I pray thee, unto Solomon the king (for he will not deny thee) that he give me Abishag, the Shunammite to wife.
18 And Bathsheba said, Well, I will speak for thee unto the king.
19 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.
20 Then she said, I desire one small petition of thee; I pray thee, do not deny me. And the king said unto her, Ask on, my mother, for I will not deny thee.
21 And she said, Let Abishag, the Shunammite, be given to Adonijah, thy brother, to wife.
22 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 my elder brother and he also has Abiathar, the priest, and Joab, the son of Zeruiah.
23 Then King Solomon swore by the LORD, saying, God do so to me and more also, if Adonijah has not spoken this word against his own life.
24 Now, therefore, as the LORD lives, who has confirmed me, and set me on the throne of David, my father, and who has made me a house, as he promised, Adonijah shall be put to death today.
25 Then King Solomon sent by the hand of Benaiah, the son of Jehoiada; and he fell upon him that he died.
26 And unto Abiathar, the priest, the king said, Go to Anathoth, unto thine own inheritance, for thou art worthy of death; but I will not put thee to death today because thou didst bare the ark of the Lord GOD before David, my father, and because thou hast been afflicted in all wherein my father was afflicted.
27 So Solomon thrust out Abiathar from being priest unto the LORD that he might fulfil the word of the LORD, which he spoke concerning the house of Eli in Shiloh.
28 And the news came to Joab, for Joab had turned after Adonijah, though he had not turned after Absalom. And Joab fled unto the tabernacle of the LORD and caught hold on the horns of the altar.
29 And it was told King Solomon that Joab had fled unto the tabernacle of the LORD and that he was by the altar. Then Solomon sent Benaiah, the son of Jehoiada, saying, Go, fall upon him.
30 And Benaiah entered into the tabernacle of the LORD and said unto him, Thus saith the king, Come forth. And he said, No, but I will die here. And Benaiah brought the king word again, saying, Thus said Joab, and thus he answered me.
31 And the king said unto him, Do as he has said and fall upon him and bury him that thou may take away from me and from the house of my father the blood which Joab shed without a cause.
32 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 without my father David knowing of it: Abner, the son of Ner, captain of the host of Israel, and Amasa, the son of Jether, captain of the host of Judah.
33 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.
34 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.
35 And the king put Benaiah, the son of Jehoiada, in his place over the host; and Zadok, the priest, the king put in the place of Abiathar.
36 Afterward the king sent and called for Shimei and said unto him, Build thee a house in Jerusalem and dwell there, and do not go forth from there anywhere.
37 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.
38 And Shimei said unto the king, The word is good as my lord the king has said, so will thy slave do. And Shimei dwelt in Jerusalem many days.
39 But it came to pass at the end of three years that two of the slaves of Shimei ran away unto Achish, son of Maachah, king of Gath. And they told Shimei, saying, Behold, thy slaves are in Gath.
40 And Shimei arose and saddled his ass and went to Gath to Achish to seek his slaves. Shimei went, therefore, and brought his slaves from Gath.
41 And it was told Solomon how Shimei had gone from Jerusalem to Gath and had come again.
42 Then 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 certain, on the day thou goest out and walkest abroad anywhere that thou shalt surely die? And thou didst say unto me, The word that I have heard is good.
43 Why then hast thou not kept the oath of the LORD and the commandment that I have charged thee with?
44 The king said moreover to Shimei, Thou knowest all the wickedness which thy heart knoweth well that thou didst to David my father; therefore, the LORD has turned thy wickedness upon thine own head;
45 and King Solomon shall be blessed, and the throne of David shall be established before the LORD for ever.
46 Then the king commanded Benaiah, the son of Jehoiada, who went out and fell upon him that he died. And the kingdom was confirmed in the hand of Solomon.

1 Kings 2 Commentary

Chapter 2

David's dying charge to Solomon. (1-4) David's charge as to Joab and others. (5-11) Solomon reigns, Adonijah aspiring to the throne is put to death. (12-25) Abiathar banished, Joab put to death. (26-34) Shimei is put to death. (35-46)

Verses 1-4 David's charge to Solomon is, to keep the charge of the Lord. The authority of a dying father is much, but nothing to that of a living God. God promised David that the Messiah should come from his descendants, and that promise was absolute; but the promise, that there should not fail of them a man on the throne of Israel, was conditional; if he walks before God in sincerity, with zeal and resolution: in order hereunto, he must take heed to his way.

Verses 5-11 These dying counsels concerning Joab and Shimei, did not come from personal anger, but for the security of Solomon's throne, which was the murders he had committed, but would readily repeat them to carry any purpose; though long reprieved, he shall be reckoned with at last. Time does not wear out the guilt of any sin, particularly of murder. Concerning Shimei, Hold him not guiltless; do not think him any true friend to thee, or thy government, or fit to be trusted; he has no less malice now than he had then. David's dying sentiments are recorded, as delivered under the influence of the Holy Ghost, ( 2 Samuel. 23:1-7 ) salvation of that glorious personage, the Messiah, whose coming he then foretold, and from whom he derived all his comforts and expectations. That passage gives a decided proof that David died under the influence of the Holy Ghost, in the exercise of faith and hope.

Verses 12-25 Solomon received Bathsheba with all the respect that was owing to a mother; but let none be asked for that which they ought not to grant. It ill becomes a good man to prefer a bad request, or to appear in a bad cause. According to eastern customs it was plain that Adonijah sought to be king, by his asking for Abishag as his wife, and Solomon could not be safe while he lived. Ambitious, turbulent spirits commonly prepare death for themselves. Many a head has been lost by catching at a crown.

Verses 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.

Verses 35-46 The old malignity remains in the unconverted heart, and a watchful eye should be kept on those who, like Shimei, have manifested their enmity, but have given no evidence of repentance. No engagements or dangers will restrain worldly men; they go on, though they forfeit their lives and souls. Let us remember, God will not accommodate his judgment to us. His eye is over us; and let us strive to walk as in his presence. Let our every act, word, and thought, be governed by this great truth, that the hour is quickly coming when the smallest circumstances of our lives shall be brought to light, and our eternal state be fixed by a righteous and unerring God. Thus Solomon's throne was established in peace, as the type of the Redeemer's kingdom of peace and righteousness. And it is a comfort, in reference to the enmity of the church's enemies, that, how much soever they rage, it is a vain thing they imagine. Christ's throne is established, and they cannot shake it.

Chapter Summary

INTRODUCTION TO FIRST KING 2

This chapter gives an account of the charge David gave to his son Solomon, a little before his death, to walk in the ways of the Lord, 1Ki 2:1-4; and of some instructions delivered to him concerning some particular persons he should either show favour to, or execute justice on, 1Ki 2:5-9; and the next account in it is concerning his death and burial, and the years of his reign, 1Ki 2:10,11; after which it relates an address of Bathsheba to Solomon in favour of Adonijah, which was refused, and the issue of it was his death, 1Ki 2:12-25; and the deposition of Abiathar from the priesthood, 1Ki 2:26,27; and the putting of Joab to death for his treason and murders, 1Ki 2:28-34; in whose post Benaiah was put, as Zadok was in the place of Abiathar, 1Ki 2:35; and lastly the confinement of Shimei in Jerusalem, who had cursed David, 1Ki 2:36-38; who upon transgressing the orders given him was put to death, 1Ki 2:39-46.

1 Kings 2 Commentaries

The Jubilee Bible

(from the Scriptures of the Reformation)

edited by Russell M. Stendal

Copyright © 2000, 2001, 2010