1 Kings 1; 1 Kings 2

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1 Kings 1

1 At this time King David was very old, and although his servants covered him with blankets, he could not keep warm.
2 They said to him, "We will look for a young woman to care for you. She will lie close to you and keep you warm."
3 After searching everywhere in Israel for a beautiful young woman, they found a girl named Abishag from Shunam and brought her to the king.
4 The girl was very beautiful, and she cared for the king and served him. But the king did not have sexual relations with her.
5 Adonijah was the son of King David and Haggith, and he was very proud. "I will be the king," he said. So he got chariots and horses for himself and fifty men for his personal bodyguard.
6 Now David had never interfered with Adonijah by questioning what he did. Born next after Absalom, Adonijah was a very handsome man.
7 Adonijah spoke with Joab son of Zeruiah and Abiathar the priest, and they agreed to help him.
8 But Zadok the priest, Benaiah son of Jehoiada, Nathan the prophet, Shimei, Rei, and King David's special guard did not join Adonijah.
9 Then Adonijah killed some sheep, cows, and fat calves for sacrifices at the Stone of Zoheleth near the spring of Rogel. He invited all his brothers, the other sons of King David, to come, as well as all the men of Judah.
10 But Adonijah did not invite Nathan the prophet, Benaiah, his father's special guard, or his brother Solomon.
11 When Nathan heard about this, he went to Bathsheba, Solomon's mother. "Have you heard that Adonijah, Haggith's son, has made himself king?" Nathan asked. "Our real king, David, does not know it.
12 I strongly advise you to save yourself and your sons.
13 Go to King David and tell him, 'My master and king, you promised that my son Solomon would be king and would rule on your throne after you. Why then has Adonijah become king?'
14 While you are still talking to the king, I will come in and tell him that what you have said about Adonijah is true."
15 So Bathsheba went in to see the aged king in his bedroom, where Abishag, the girl from Shunam, was caring for him.
16 Bathsheba bowed and knelt before the king. He asked, "What do you want?"
17 She answered, "My master, you made a promise to me in the name of the Lord your God. You said, 'Your son Solomon will become king after me, and he will rule on my throne.'
18 But now, unknown to you, Adonijah has become king.
19 He has killed many cows, fat calves, and sheep for sacrifices. And he has invited all your sons, as well as Abiathar the priest and Joab the commander of the army, but he did not invite Solomon, who serves you.
20 My master and king, all the Israelites are watching you, waiting for you to decide who will be king after you.
21 As soon as you die, Solomon and I will be treated as criminals."
22 While Bathsheba was still talking with the king, Nathan the prophet arrived.
23 The servants told the king, "Nathan the prophet is here." So Nathan went to the king and bowed facedown on the ground before him.
24 Nathan said, "My master and king, have you said that Adonijah will be the king after you and that he will rule on your throne?
25 Today he has sacrificed many cows, fat calves, and sheep, and he has invited all your other sons, the commanders of the army, and Abiathar the priest. Right now they are eating and drinking with him. They are saying, 'Long live King Adonijah!'
26 But he did not invite me, your own servant, or Zadok the priest, or Benaiah son of Jehoiada, or your son Solomon.
27 Did you do this? Since we are your servants, why didn't you tell us who should be king after you?"
28 Then the king said, "Tell Bathsheba to come in!" So she came in and stood before the king.
29 Then the king made this promise, "The Lord has saved me from all trouble. As surely as he lives,
30 I will do today what I have promised you in the name of the Lord, the God of Israel. I promised that your son Solomon would be king after me and rule on my throne in my place."
31 Then Bathsheba bowed facedown on the ground and knelt before the king and said, "Long live my master King David!"
32 Then King David said, "Tell Zadok the priest, Nathan the prophet, and Benaiah son of Jehoiada to come in." When they came before the king,
33 he said to them, "Take my servants with you and put my son Solomon on my own mule. Take him down to the spring called Gihon.
34 There Zadok the priest and Nathan the prophet should pour olive oil on him and make him king over Israel. Blow the trumpet and shout, 'Long live King Solomon!'
35 Then come back up here with him. He will sit on my throne and rule in my place, because he is the one I have chosen to be the ruler over Israel and Judah."
36 Benaiah son of Jehoiada answered the king, "Amen! This is what the Lord, the God of my master, has declared!
37 The Lord has always helped you, our king. May he also help Solomon and make King Solomon's throne an even greater throne than yours."
38 So Zadok the priest, Nathan the prophet, and Benaiah son of Jehoiada left with the Kerethites and Pelethites. They put Solomon on King David's mule and took him to the spring called Gihon.
39 Zadok the priest took the container of olive oil from the Holy Tent and poured the oil on Solomon's head to show he was the king. Then they blew the trumpet, and all the people shouted, "Long live King Solomon!"
40 All the people followed Solomon into the city. Playing flutes and shouting for joy, they made so much noise the ground shook.
41 At this time Adonijah and all the guests with him were finishing their meal. When he heard the sound from the trumpet, Joab asked, "What does all that noise from the city mean?"
42 While Joab was speaking, Jonathan son of Abiathar the priest arrived. Adonijah said, "Come in! You are an important man, so you must be bringing good news."
43 But Jonathan answered, "No! Our master King David has made Solomon the new king.
44 King David sent Zadok the priest, Nathan the prophet, Benaiah son of Jehoiada, and all the king's bodyguards with him, and they have put Solomon on the king's own mule.
45 Then Zadok the priest and Nathan the prophet poured olive oil on Solomon at Gihon to make him king. After that they went into the city, shouting with joy. Now the whole city is excited, and that is the noise you hear.
46 Solomon has now become the king.
47 All the king's officers have come to tell King David that he has done a good thing. They are saying, 'May your God make Solomon even more famous than you and an even greater king than you.'" Jonathan continued, "And King David bowed down on his bed to worship God,
48 saying, 'Bless the Lord, the God of Israel. Today he has made one of my sons the king and allowed me to see it.'"
49 Then all of Adonijah's guests were afraid, and they left quickly and scattered.
50 Adonijah was also afraid of Solomon, so he went and took hold of the corners of the altar.
51 Then someone told Solomon, "Adonijah is afraid of you, so he is at the altar, holding on to its corners. He says, 'Tell King Solomon to promise me today that he will not kill me.'"
52 So Solomon answered, "Adonijah must show that he is a man of honor. If he does that, I promise he will not lose even a single hair from his head. But if he does anything wrong, he will die."
53 Then King Solomon sent some men to get Adonijah. When he was brought from the altar, he came before King Solomon and bowed down. Solomon told him, "Go home."
Scripture taken from the New Century Version. Copyright © 1987, 1988, 1991 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

1 Kings 2

1 Since it was almost time for David to die, he gave his son Solomon his last commands.
2 David said, "My time to die is near. Be a good and strong leader.
3 Obey the Lord your God. Follow him by obeying his demands, his commands, his laws, and his rules that are written in the teachings of Moses. If you do these things, you will be successful in all you do and wherever you go.
4 And if you obey the Lord, he will keep the promise he made to me. He said: 'If your descendants live as I tell them and have complete faith in me, a man from your family will always be king over the people of Israel.'
5 "Also, you remember what Joab son of Zeruiah did to me. He killed the two commanders of Israel's armies: Abner son of Ner and Amasa son of Jether. He did this as if he and they were at war, although it was a time of peace. He put their blood on the belt around his waist and on his sandals on his feet.
6 Punish him in the way you think is wisest, but do not let him die peacefully of old age.
7 "Be kind to the children of Barzillai of Gilead, and allow them to eat at your table. They welcomed me when I ran away from your brother Absalom.
8 "And remember, Shimei son of Gera, the Benjaminite, is here with you. He cursed me the day I went to Mahanaim. But when he came down to meet me at the Jordan River, I promised him before the Lord, 'Shimei, I will not kill you.'
9 But you should not leave him unpunished. You are a wise man, and you will know what to do to him, but you must be sure he is killed."
10 Then David died and was buried with his ancestors in Jerusalem.
11 He had ruled over Israel forty years -- seven years in Hebron and thirty-three years in Jerusalem.
12 Solomon became king after David, his father, and he was in firm control of his kingdom.
13 At this time Adonijah son of Haggith went to Bathsheba, Solomon's mother. "Do you come in peace?" Bathsheba asked. "Yes. This is a peaceful visit," Adonijah answered.
14 "I have something to say to you." "You may speak," she said.
15 "You remember that at one time the kingdom was mine," Adonijah said. "All the people of Israel recognized me as their king, but things have changed. Now my brother is the king, because the Lord chose him.
16 Now I have one thing to ask you; please do not refuse me." Bathsheba answered, "What do you want?"
17 "I know King Solomon will do anything you ask him," Adonijah continued. "Please ask him to give me Abishag the Shunammite to be my wife."
18 "Very well," she answered. "I will speak to the king for you."
19 So Bathsheba went to King Solomon to speak to him for Adonijah. When Solomon saw her, he stood up to meet her, then bowed down, and sat on the throne. He told some servants to bring another throne for his mother. Then she sat down at his right side.
20 Bathsheba said, "I have one small thing to ask you. Please do not refuse me." "Ask, mother," the king answered. "I will not refuse you."
21 So she said, "Allow Abishag the Shunammite to marry your brother Adonijah."
22 King Solomon answered his mother, "Why do you ask me to give him Abishag? Why don't you also ask for him to become the king since he is my older brother? Abiathar the priest and Joab son of Zeruiah would support him!"
23 Then King Solomon swore by the name of the Lord, saying, "May God punish me terribly if this doesn't cost Adonijah his life!
24 By the Lord who has given me the throne that belonged to my father David and who has kept his promise and given the kingdom to me and my people, Adonijah will die today!"
25 Then King Solomon gave orders to Benaiah son of Jehoiada, and he went and killed Adonijah.
26 King Solomon said to Abiathar the priest, "I should kill you too, but I will allow you to go back to your fields in Anathoth. I will not kill you at this time, because you helped carry the Ark of the Lord God while marching with my father David. And I know you shared in all the hard times with him."
27 Then Solomon removed Abiathar from being the Lord's priest. This happened as the Lord had said it would, when he was speaking in Shiloh about the priest Eli and his descendants.
28 When Joab heard about what had happened, he was afraid. He had supported Adonijah but not Absalom. So Joab ran to the Tent of the Lord and took hold of the corners of the altar.
29 Someone told King Solomon that Joab had run to the Tent of the Lord and was beside the altar. Then Solomon ordered Benaiah to go and kill him.
30 Benaiah went into the Tent of the Lord and said to Joab, "The king says, 'Come out!'" But Joab answered, "No, I will die here." So Benaiah went back to the king and told him what Joab had said.
31 Then the king ordered Benaiah, "Do as he says! Kill him there and bury him. Then my family and I will be free of the guilt of Joab, who has killed innocent people.
32 Without my father knowing it, he killed two men who were much better than he was -- Abner son of Ner, the commander of Israel's army, and Amasa son of Jether, the commander of Judah's army. So the Lord will pay him back for those deaths.
33 Joab and his family will be forever guilty for their deaths, but there will be peace from the Lord for David, his descendants, his family, and his throne forever."
34 So Benaiah son of Jehoiada killed Joab, and he was buried near his home in the desert.
35 The king then made Benaiah son of Jehoiada commander of the army in Joab's place. He also made Zadok the new high priest in Abiathar's place.
36 Next the king sent for Shimei. Solomon said to him, "Build a house for yourself in Jerusalem and live there. Don't leave the city.
37 The very day you leave and cross the Kidron Valley, someone will kill you, and it will be your own fault."
38 So Shimei answered the king, "I agree with what you say. I will do what you say, my master and king." So Shimei lived in Jerusalem for a long time.
39 But three years later two of Shimei's slaves ran away to Achish king of Gath, who was the son of Maacah. Shimei heard that his slaves were in Gath,
40 so he put his saddle on his donkey and went to Achish at Gath to find them. Then he brought them back from Gath.
41 Someone told Solomon that Shimei had gone from Jerusalem to Gath and had returned.
42 So Solomon sent for Shimei and said, "I made you promise in the name of the Lord not to leave Jerusalem. I warned you if you went out anywhere you would die, and you agreed to what I said.
43 Why did you break your promise to the Lord and disobey my command?"
44 The king also said, "You know the many wrong things you did to my father David, so now the Lord will punish you for those wrongs.
45 But the Lord will bless me and make the rule of David safe before the Lord forever."
46 Then the king ordered Benaiah to kill Shimei, and he did. Now Solomon was in full control of his kingdom.
Scripture taken from the New Century Version. Copyright © 1987, 1988, 1991 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.