1 Kings 2

David's Charge to Solomon

1 As David's [a]1time to die drew near, he charged Solomon his son, saying,
2 "2I am going the way of all the earth. 3Be strong, therefore, and [b]show yourself a man.
3 "Keep the charge of the LORD your God, to walk in His ways, to keep His statutes, His commandments, His ordinances, and His testimonies, 4according to what is written in the Law of Moses, that 5you may succeed in all that you do and wherever * * you turn,
4 so that 6the LORD may carry out His promise which He spoke concerning me, saying, '7If your sons are careful of their way, 8to walk before Me in [c]truth with all their heart and with all their soul, [d]9you shall not lack a man on the throne of Israel.'
5 "Now you also know what Joab the 10son of Zeruiah did to me, what he did to the two commanders of the armies of Israel, to 11Abner the son of Ner, and to 12Amasa the son of Jether, whom he killed; he also [e]shed the blood of war in peace. And he put the blood of war on his belt [f]about his waist, and on his sandals [g]on his feet.
6 "13So act according to your wisdom, and do not let his gray hair go down to Sheol in peace.
7 "But 14show kindness to the sons of Barzillai the Gileadite, and 15let them be among those who eat at your table; 16for they assisted me when I fled from Absalom your brother.
8 "Behold, 17there is with you Shimei the son of Gera the Benjamite, of Bahurim; now it was he who cursed me with a violent curse on the day I went to Mahanaim. But when 18he came down * to me at the Jordan, I swore to him by the LORD, saying, 'I will not put you to death with the sword.'
9 "Now therefore, do not let him go unpunished, 19for you are a wise man; and you will know what you ought to do to him, and you will bring his gray hair down to Sheol with blood."

Death of David

10 Then 20David slept with his fathers and was buried in 21the city of David.
11 22The days that David reigned over Israel were forty years: 23seven years he reigned in Hebron and thirty-three * years he reigned in Jerusalem.
12 And 24Solomon sat on the throne of David his father, and his kingdom was firmly established.
13 Now Adonijah the son of Haggith came to Bathsheba the mother of Solomon. And she said, "25Do you come peacefully?" And he said, "Peacefully."
14 Then he said, "I have something to say to you." And she said, "Speak."
15 So he said, "You know that 26the kingdom was mine and 27that all Israel expected * me to be king; 28however, the kingdom has turned about and become my brother's, 29for it was his from the LORD.
16 "Now I am making one request of you; do not refuse me." And she said to him, "Speak."
17 Then he said, "Please speak to Solomon the king, for he will not refuse you, that he may give me 30Abishag the Shunammite as a wife."
18 Bathsheba said, "Very well; I will speak to the king for you."

Adonijah Executed

19 So Bathsheba went to King Solomon to speak to him for Adonijah. And the king arose to meet her, bowed before her, and sat on his throne; then he 31had a throne set for the king's mother, and 32she sat on his right.
20 Then she said, "I am making one small request of you; 33do not refuse me." And the king said to her, "Ask, my mother, for I will not refuse you."
21 So she said, "34Let Abishag the Shunammite be given to Adonijah your brother as a wife."
22 King Solomon answered and said to his mother, "And why are you asking Abishag the Shunammite for Adonijah? 35Ask for him also the kingdom -36for he is my older brother -even for him, for 37Abiathar the priest, and for Joab the son of Zeruiah!"
23 Then King Solomon swore by the LORD, saying, "May God do so to me and more also, if Adonijah has 38not spoken this word against his own life.
24 "Now therefore, as the LORD lives, who has established me and set me on the throne of David my father and 39who has made me a house as He promised, surely Adonijah shall be put to death today."
25 So King Solomon 40sent Benaiah the son of Jehoiada; and he fell upon him so that he died.
26 Then to Abiathar the priest the king said, "41Go to Anathoth to your own field, 42for you deserve to die; but I will not put you to death at this time, because 43you carried the ark of the Lord GOD before my father David, and because 44you were afflicted in everything with which my father was afflicted."
27 So Solomon dismissed Abiathar from being priest to the LORD, in order to fulfill 45the word of the LORD, which He had spoken concerning the house of Eli in Shiloh.

Joab Executed

28 Now the news came to Joab, 46for Joab had followed * Adonijah, 47although he had not followed * Absalom. And Joab fled to the tent of the LORD and 48took hold of the horns of the altar.
29 It was told King Solomon that Joab had fled to the tent of the LORD, and behold, he is beside the altar. Then Solomon 49sent Benaiah the son of Jehoiada, saying, "50Go, fall upon him."
30 So Benaiah came to the tent of the LORD and said to him, "Thus the king has said, 'Come out.' " But he said, "No, for I will die here." And Benaiah brought the king word again, saying, "Thus spoke Joab, and thus he answered me."
31 The king said to him, "51Do as he has spoken and fall upon him and bury him, 52that you may remove from me and from my father's house the blood which Joab shed without cause.
32 "53The LORD will return his blood on his own head, 54because he fell upon two men more righteous and better than he and killed them with the sword, while my father David did not know it: 55Abner the son of Ner, commander of the army of Israel, and 56Amasa the son of Jether, commander of the army of Judah.
33 "57So shall their blood return on the head of Joab and on the head of his descendants forever; but to David and his descendants and his house and his throne, may there be peace from the LORD forever *."
34 Then 58Benaiah the son of Jehoiada went up and fell upon him and put him to death, and he was buried at his own house 59in the wilderness.
35 60The king appointed Benaiah the son of Jehoiada over the army in his place, and the king appointed 61Zadok the priest 62in the place of Abiathar.

Shimei Executed

36 Now the king sent and called for 63Shimei and said to him, "Build for yourself a house in Jerusalem and live there, and do not go out from there to any place.
37 "For on the day you go out and 64cross over the brook Kidron, you will know for certain that you shall surely die; 65your blood shall be on your own head."
38 Shimei then said to the king, "The word is good. As my lord the king has said, so your servant will do." So Shimei lived in Jerusalem many days.
39 But it came about at the end of three years, that two of the servants of Shimei ran away 66to Achish son of Maacah, king of Gath. And they told Shimei, saying, "Behold, your servants are in Gath."
40 Then Shimei arose and saddled his donkey, and went to Gath to Achish to look for his servants. And Shimei went and brought his servants from Gath.
41 It was told Solomon that Shimei had gone from Jerusalem to Gath, and had returned.
42 So the king sent and called for Shimei and said to him, "Did I not make you swear by the LORD and solemnly warn you, saying, 'You will know for certain that on the day you depart and go anywhere, you shall surely die '? And you said to me, 'The word which I have heard is good.'
43 "Why then have you not kept the oath of the LORD, and the command which I have laid on you?"
44 The king also said to Shimei, "67You know all the evil which you acknowledge in your heart, which you did to my father David; therefore 68the LORD shall return your evil on your own head.
45 "But King Solomon shall be blessed, and 69the throne of David shall be established before the LORD forever *."
46 70So the king commanded Benaiah the son of Jehoiada, and he went out and fell upon him so that he died. 71Thus the kingdom was established in the hands 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.

Cross References 71

  • 1. Genesis 47:29; Deuteronomy 31:14
  • 2. Joshua 23:14
  • 3. Deuteronomy 31:7, 23; Joshua 1:6, 7
  • 4. Deuteronomy 17:18-20
  • 5. 1 Chronicles 22:12, 13
  • 6. 2 Samuel 7:25
  • 7. Psalms 132:12
  • 8. 2 Kings 20:3
  • 9. 2 Samuel 7:12, 13; 1 Kings 8:25; 1 Kings 9:5
  • 10. 2 Samuel 2:13, 18
  • 11. 2 Samuel 3:27; 1 Kings 2:32
  • 12. 2 Samuel 20:10
  • 13. 1 Kings 2:9
  • 14. 2 Samuel 19:31-38
  • 15. 2 Samuel 9:7, 10
  • 16. 2 Samuel 17:27-29
  • 17. 2 Samuel 16:5-8
  • 18. 2 Samuel 19:18-23
  • 19. 1 Kings 2:6
  • 20. Acts 2:29; Acts 13:36
  • 21. 2 Samuel 5:7; 1 Kings 3:1
  • 22. 2 Samuel 5:4, 5; 1 Chronicles 3:4; 1 Chronicles 29:26, 27
  • 23. 2 Samuel 5:5
  • 24. 1 Chronicles 29:23; 2 Chronicles 1:1
  • 25. 1 Samuel 16:4
  • 26. 2 Samuel 3:3, 4; 1 Kings 2:22
  • 27. 1 Kings 1:5-25
  • 28. 1 Kings 1:38-50
  • 29. 1 Chronicles 22:9, 10; 1 Chronicles 28:5-7
  • 30. 1 Kings 1:3, 4
  • 31. 1 Kings 15:13
  • 32. Psalms 45:9
  • 33. 1 Kings 2:16
  • 34. 1 Kings 1:3, 4
  • 35. 2 Samuel 12:8
  • 36. 1 Kings 1:6; 1 Kings 2:15; 1 Chronicles 3:2, 5
  • 37. 1 Kings 1:7
  • 38. Ruth 1:17
  • 39. 2 Samuel 7:11, 13; 1 Chronicles 22:10
  • 40. 2 Samuel 8:18
  • 41. Joshua 21:18; Jeremiah 1:1
  • 42. 1 Samuel 26:16
  • 43. 1 Samuel 23:6; 2 Samuel 15:24-29
  • 44. 1 Samuel 22:20-23; 1 Samuel 23:8, 9
  • 45. 1 Samuel 2:27-36
  • 46. 1 Kings 1:7
  • 47. 2 Samuel 17:25; 2 Samuel 18:2
  • 48. 1 Kings 1:50
  • 49. 1 Kings 2:25
  • 50. Exodus 21:14
  • 51. Exodus 21:14
  • 52. Numbers 35:33; Deuteronomy 19:13; Deuteronomy 21:8, 9
  • 53. Genesis 9:6; Judges 9:24, 57; Psalms 7:16
  • 54. 2 Chronicles 21:13, 14
  • 55. 2 Samuel 3:27
  • 56. 2 Samuel 20:9, 10
  • 57. 2 Samuel 3:29
  • 58. 1 Kings 2:25
  • 59. Joshua 15:61; Matthew 3:1
  • 60. 1 Kings 4:4
  • 61. 1 Chronicles 6:53; 1 Chronicles 24:3; 1 Chronicles 29:22
  • 62. 1 Kings 2:27
  • 63. 2 Samuel 16:5; 1 Kings 2:8
  • 64. 2 Samuel 15:23; 2 Kings 23:6; John 18:1
  • 65. Joshua 2:19; 2 Samuel 1:16; Ezekiel 18:13
  • 66. 1 Samuel 27:2
  • 67. 2 Samuel 16:5-13
  • 68. 1 Samuel 25:39; 2 Kin 11:1, 12-16; Psalms 7:16
  • 69. 2 Samuel 7:13; Proverbs 25:5
  • 70. 1 Kings 2:25, 34
  • 71. 1 Kings 2:12; 2 Chronicles 1:1

Footnotes 24

Chapter Summary


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

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