David’s final words to Solomon. David dies. Solomon slaughters his political opponents.
VERSE 1. Now the days of David came near that he should die; and he commanded Solomon his son, saying,
the days of David came near that he should die. David is 70 years of age. He is an impotent old man whose mind and faculties are deranged.
Contrast David’s condition with that of Moses:
Deuteronomy 34:7. Moses was one hundred twenty years old when he died. His eye was not dim, nor his strength gone.
show yourself a man. Many people assume that a male must “be a man.” That is, exhibit traits such as aggression and domineering.
Because they aggrandize the notion of “being a man,” they implicitly assume that to “be a woman” is not as good.
VERSE 3. and keep the instruction of the LORD your God, to walk in his ways, to keep his statutes, his commandments, his ordinances, and his testimonies, according to that which is written in the Torah of Moses, that you may prosper in all that you do and wherever you turn yourself.
the Torah of Moses. This is the first time we can recall David talking about the Bible.
that you may prosper. David’s motive for obeying the Bible is so he will prosper. That is a selfish motive.
VERSE 4. Then the LORD may establish his word which he spoke concerning me, saying, ‘If your children are careful of their way, to walk before me in truth with all their heart and with all their soul, there shall not fail you,’ he said, ‘a man on the throne of Israel.’
VERSE 5. “Moreover you know also what Joab the son of Zeruiah did to me, even what he did to the two captains of the armies of Israel, to Abner the son of Ner and to Amasa the son of Jether, whom he killed, and shed the blood of war in peace, and put the blood of war on his sash that was around his waist and in his sandals that were on his feet.
you know also what Joab the son of Zeruiah did to me. In this verse and the next, David is counseling Solomon to kill Joab.
VERSE 6. Do therefore according to your wisdom, and don’t let his gray head go down to Sheol in peace.
don’t let his gray head go down to Sheol in peace. In the Book of Kings, the leaders exhibit narcissistic behaviors. They demand subservience. They commit idolatry and murder. They disobey sexual laws. Read more »
VERSE 7. But show kindness to the sons of Barzillai the Gileadite, and let them be among those who eat at your table; for so they came to me when I fled from Absalom your brother.
VERSE 8. “Behold, there is with you Shimei the son of Gera, the 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 you to death with the sword.’
Shimei the son of Gera. David tells Solomon he must punish Shemei.
VERSE 9. Now therefore don’t hold him guiltless, for you are a wise man; and you will know what you ought to do to him, and you shall bring his gray head down to Sheol with blood.”
bring his gray head down to Sheol with blood. In the Book of Kings, the leaders exhibit narcissistic behaviors. They demand subservience. They commit idolatry and murder. They disobey sexual laws. Read more »
David slept with his fathers. That is, David died.
In a biblical worldview, the bodies of believers who die will simply “rest” until they are resurrected.
David’s city. The City of David is Jerusalem. David had captured it from the Jebusites.
VERSE 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.
sat on David his father’s throne. This is the image of kingship: sitting on the throne.
Of course this is antithetical to the biblical worldview that before the LORD God, all people stand as equals:
Galatians 3:28. There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free man, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus.
VERSE 13. Then Adonijah the son of Haggith came to Bathsheba the mother of Solomon. She said, “Do you come peaceably?” He said, “Peaceably.
Adonijah the son of Haggith. He still hopes to become king.
VERSE 14. He said moreover, I have something to tell you.” She said, “Say on.”
VERSE 15. He said, “You know that the kingdom was mine, and that all Israel set their faces on me, that I should reign. However, the kingdom is turned around, and has become my brother’s; for it was his from the LORD.
all Israel set their faces on me. This was not true. Not everybody saw Adonijah as king.
VERSE 16. Now I ask one petition of you. Don’t deny me.” She said to him, “Say on.”
VERSE 17. He said, “Please speak to Solomon the king (for he will not tell you ‘no’), that he give me Abishag the Shunammite as wife.”
VERSE 18. Bathsheba said, “All right. I will speak for you to the king.”
VERSE 19. Bathsheba therefore went to king Solomon, to speak to him for Adonijah. The king rose up to meet her and bowed himself to her, and sat down on his throne and caused a throne to be set for the king’s mother; and she sat on his right hand.
bowed himself to her. This is a big change:
- David required Bathsheba to bow down to him.
- But Solomon bows down to Bathsheba.
VERSE 20. Then she said, “I ask one small petition of you; don’t deny me.” The king said to her, “Ask on, my mother, for I will not deny you.”
VERSE 21. She said, “Let Abishag the Shunammite be given to Adonijah your brother as wife.”
VERSE 22. King Solomon answered his mother, “Why do you ask Abishag the Shunammite for Adonijah? Ask for him the kingdom also, for he is my elder brother; even for him, and for Abiathar the priest, and for Joab the son of Zeruiah.”
VERSE 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.
VERSE 24. Now therefore as the LORD lives, who has established me and set me on my father David’s throne, and who has made me a house as he promised, surely Adonijah shall be put to death today.”
fell on him, so that he died. In the Book of Kings, the leaders exhibit narcissistic behaviors. They demand subservience. They commit idolatry and murder. They disobey sexual laws. Read more »
VERSE 26. To Abiathar the priest the king said, “Go to Anathoth, to your own fields, for you are worthy of death. But I will not at this time put you to death, because you bore the Lord GOD’s ark before David my father, and because you were afflicted in all in which my father was afflicted.”
the Lord GOD’s. The Hebrew word translated as “Lord” (mixed case) is “Adonai.”
VERSE 27. So Solomon thrust Abiathar out from being priest to the LORD, that he might fulfill the LORD’s word which he spoke concerning the house of Eli in Shiloh.
VERSE 28. This news came to Joab; for Joab had followed Adonijah, although he didn’t follow Absalom. Joab fled to the LORD’s Tent, and held onto the horns of the altar.
held onto the horns of the altar. To take hold of the horns of the altar was to claim the right of sanctuary. It was how a transgressor sought asylum.
VERSE 29. King Solomon was told, “Joab has fled to the LORD’s Tent; and behold, he is by the altar.” Then Solomon sent Benaiah the son of Jehoiada, saying, “Go, fall on him.”
VERSE 30. Benaiah came to the LORD’s Tent, and said to him, “The king says, ‘Come out!’ ” He said, “No; but I will die here.” Benaiah brought the king word again, saying, “This is what Joab said, and this is how he answered me.”
VERSE 31. The king said to him, “Do as he has said, and fall on him, and bury him, that you may take away the blood, which Joab shed without cause, from me and from my father’s house.
VERSE 32. The LORD will return his blood on his own head, because he fell on two men more righteous and better than he, and killed them with the sword, and my father David didn’t know it: Abner the son of Ner, captain of the army of Israel, and Amasa the son of Jether, captain of the army of Judah.
VERSE 33. So their blood will return on the head of Joab and on the head of his offspring forever. But for David, for his offspring, for his house, and for his throne, there will be peace forever from the LORD.”
his offspring. That is, his “seed.”
VERSE 34. Then Benaiah the son of Jehoiada went up and fell on him, and killed him; and he was buried in his own house in the wilderness.
and killed him. In the Book of Kings, the leaders exhibit narcissistic behaviors. They demand subservience. They commit idolatry and murder. They disobey sexual laws. Read more »
VERSE 35. The king put Benaiah the son of Jehoiada in his place over the army; and the king put Zadok the priest in the place of Abiathar.
VERSE 36. The king sent and called for Shimei, and said to him, “Build yourself a house in Jerusalem, and live there, and don’t go anywhere else.
VERSE 37. For on the day you go out and pass over the brook Kidron, know for certain that you will surely die. Your blood will be on your own head.”
VERSE 38. Shimei said to the king, “What you say is good. As my lord the king has said, so will your servant do.” Shimei lived in Jerusalem many days.
VERSE 39. At the end of three years, two of Shimei’s slaves ran away to Achish, son of Maacah, king of Gath. They told Shimei, saying, “Behold, your slaves are in Gath.”
VERSE 40. Shimei arose, saddled his donkey, and went to Gath to Achish to seek his slaves; and Shimei went and brought his slaves from Gath.
VERSE 41. Solomon was told that Shimei had gone from Jerusalem to Gath, and had come again.
VERSE 42. The king sent and called for Shimei, and said to him, “Didn’t I adjure you by the LORD and warn you, saying, ‘Know for certain that on the day you go out and walk anywhere else, you shall surely die?’ You said to me, ‘The saying that I have heard is good.’
VERSE 43. Why then have you not kept the oath of the LORD and the commandment that I have instructed you with?”
VERSE 44. The king said moreover to Shimei, “You know in your heart all the wickedness that you did to David my father. Therefore the LORD will return your wickedness on your own head.
VERSE 45. But king Solomon will be blessed, and David’s throne will be established before the LORD forever.”
VERSE 46. So the king commanded Benaiah the son of Jehoiada; and he went out, and fell on him, so that he died. The kingdom was established in the hand of Solomon.
so that he died. In the Book of Kings, the leaders exhibit narcissistic behaviors. They demand subservience. They commit idolatry and murder. They disobey sexual laws. Read more »
Unless otherwise noted, all Bible quotations on this page are from the World English Bible and the World Messianic Edition. These translations have no copyright restrictions. They are in the Public Domain.